HEALTH

Gene for preeclampsia

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Science  05 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6410, pp. 42-43
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6410.42-d

Preeclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy that often presents as an increase in maternal blood pressure. The disorder is more prevalent and severe in women with African ancestry, most likely because of genetic factors. Reidy et al. have been investigating a variant of the gene encoding apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1), which was previously shown to confer a high risk of kidney disease in black Americans. Studying two independent populations of pregnant black women, they found that preeclampsia was associated with the APOL1 high-risk genotype. Interestingly, it was the genotype of the fetus, not the mother, that mattered. The fetal APOL1 high-risk genotype may be linked to one in eight cases of preeclampsia in black women.

Am. J. Hum. Genet. 103, 367 (2018).

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