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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1998 Jan;60(1):23-7.

Family history of pre-eclampsia as a predictor for pre-eclampsia in primigravidas.

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Department of Perinatal Medicine, Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.



To assess the clinical utility of knowledge of a family history of pre-eclampsia as a predictor for the development of pre-eclampsia in primigravid women.


368 primigravid women were prospectively recruited from the outpatients department of an obstetric teaching hospital. Details of any family history of pre-eclampsia were obtained from the women and their subsequent obstetric outcomes were observed.


Of 368 primigravid women, 34 (9.2%) developed pre-eclampsia. Eighteen (4.9%) women of the total group stated that they had a mother (12), sister (five) or both (one) who had had pre-eclampsia. Of these 18 women, five (27.8%) developed pre-eclampsia. Of the women who had no family history, 29 (8.3%) developed pre-eclampsia (relative risk, RR = 3.4; 95% CI, 1.5-7.6; P = 0.018). Four (22.2%) of the women with a positive family history developed severe pre-eclampsia compared to 18 (5.1%) with a negative family history (RR = 4.3; 95% CI, 1.6-11.5; P = 0.017).


In a primigravida, a family history of pre-eclampsia is associated with a fourfold increased risk of severe pre-eclampsia. This clinical history identifies a group who warrant close clinical surveillance during pregnancy and who may be suitable for trials of prophylactic interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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