Pregnancy–induced hypertension (PIH) is a heterogeneous disorder which complicates 5–7% of all pregnancies and remains a leading cause of maternal, fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Severe preeclampsia is the most distinctive and life–threatening form; a multi–system disorder more common in first pregnancies, it is characterized by high blood pressure and proteinuria. In a series of Caucasian women with pregnancy–induced hypertension, we have observed a significant association of preeclampsia with a molecular variant of angiotensinogen, T235, found previously to be associated with essential hypertension. This finding is corroborated in a sample ascertained in Japan. Together, these observations support a new pathophysiological interpretation of preeclampsia and of its relation to some forms of essential hypertension.
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Ward, K., Hata, A., Jeunemaitre, X. et al. A molecular variant of angiotensinogen associated with preeclampsia. Nat Genet 4, 59–61 (1993) doi:10.1038/ng0593-59
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