NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Variants within the fetal genome may influence whether the mother develops preeclampsia during her pregnancy, according to a new international study.

In a genome-wide association study of children whose mothers had preeclampsia while pregnant with them, researchers from the InterPregGen study searched for variants influencing disease risk. Preeclampsia, which occurs in about 5 percent of pregnancies and is marked by high blood pressure, can lead to seizures, stroke, and even death. It's also been linked to malformations of the placenta.

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