Can Preeclampsia During Pregnancy be Caused by the Father?

The cause of preeclampsia is unclear, making strategies for its prevention challenging, although various maternal risk factors have been recognized.

In this new study, researchers examined questionnaire data from 586 men who had fathered a preeclamptic pregnancy and 660 control men who had fathered a non-preeclamptic pregnancy.

Fathers in the former group more often reported preeclampsia in a previously fathered pregnancy, but there were no differences in the socioeconomic background or health history of the preeclamptic and control fathers or their parents.


The groups of fathers reported comparably often having been born from preeclampsia and normal pregnancies, which is in contrast to some previous studies.

Men who themselves were born in a preeclampsia pregnancy have been shown to have an increased risk of preeclampsia in the pregnancies that they subsequently father.

These findings suggest a role of paternal genes in the increased risk of preeclampsia through the fetal genome. Unfortunately, in the present study, a large number of the fathers did not know whether their mother had preeclampsia.

It would be of interest to replicate our analyses by utilizing registry-based data, in line with some previous studies. A larger study population would have allowed us to compare the incidence of preeclampsia in previously fathered pregnancies with a different partner than the index mother. Both paternal genotype and phenotype need to be addressed in future studies.

Source: Medindia

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