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Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Dec 1;178(11):1611-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt189. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

Associations of personal and family preeclampsia history with the risk of early-, intermediate- and late-onset preeclampsia.


Preeclampsia encompasses multiple conditions of varying severity. We examined the recurrence and familial aggregation of preeclampsia by timing of onset, which is a marker for severity. We ascertained personal and family histories of preeclampsia for women who delivered live singletons in Denmark in 1978-2008 (almost 1.4 million pregnancies). Using log-linear binomial regression, we estimated risk ratios for the associations between personal and family histories of preeclampsia and the risk of early-onset (before 34 weeks of gestation, which is typically the most severe), intermediate-onset (at 34-36 weeks of gestation), and late-onset (after 36 weeks of gestation) preeclampsia. Previous early-, intermediate-, or late-onset preeclampsia increased the risk of recurrent preeclampsia with the same timing of onset 25.2 times (95% confidence interval (CI): 21.8, 29.1), 19.7 times (95% CI: 17.0, 22.8), and 10.3 times (95% CI: 9.85, 10.9), respectively, compared with having no such history. Preeclampsia in a woman's family was associated with a 24%-163% increase in preeclampsia risk, with the strongest associations for early- and intermediate-onset preeclampsia in female relatives. Preeclampsia in the man's family did not affect a woman's risk of early-onset preeclampsia and was only weakly associated with her risks of intermediate- and late-onset preeclampsia. Early-onset preeclampsia appears to have the largest genetic component, whereas environmental factors likely contribute most to late-onset preeclampsia. The role of paternal genes in the etiology of preeclampsia appears to be limited.


familial aggregation; partner change; preeclampsia; recurrence; timing of onset

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