The Norwegian preeclampsia family cohort study: a new resource for investigating genetic aspects and heritability of preeclampsia and related phenotypes
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background. Preeclampsia is a major pregnancy complication without curative treatment available. A Norwegian Preeclampsia Family Cohort was established to provide a new resource for genetic and molecular studies aiming to improve the understanding of the complex pathophysiology of preeclampsia. Methods. Participants were recruited from five Norwegian hospitals after diagnoses of preeclampsia registered in the Medical birth registry of Norway were verified according to the study’s inclusion criteria. Detailed obstetric information and information on personal and family disease history focusing on cardiovascular health was collected. At attendance anthropometric measurements were registered and blood samples were drawn. The software package SPSS 19.0 for Windows was used to compute descriptive statistics such as mean and SD. P-values were computed based on t-test statistics for normally distributed variables. Nonparametrical methods (chi square) were used for categorical variables. Results. A cohort consisting of 496 participants (355 females and 141 males) representing 137 families with increased occurrence of preeclampsia has been established, and blood samples are available for 477 participants. Descriptive analyses showed that about 60 % of the index women’s pregnancies with birth data registered were preeclamptic according to modern diagnosis criteria. We also found that about 41 % of the index women experienced more than one preeclamptic pregnancy. In addition, the descriptive analyses confirmed that preeclamptic pregnancies are more often accompanied with delivery complications. Conclusion. The data and biological samples collected in this Norwegian Preeclampsia Family Cohort will provide an important basis for future research. Identification of preeclampsia susceptibility genes and new biomarkers may contribute to more efficient strategies to identify mothers “at risk” and contribute to development of novel preventative therapies.