Does pre-eclampsia run in families?

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Does pre-eclampsia run in families?

Postby Kennedysmommy » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:56 pm

I have a question, my sister just had her second baby at 34 weeks and had severe pre-eclampsia which turned into HELLP syndrome. I have a three year old daughter and when I was pregnant with her I suffered from high blood pressure and was as they called it "pre-pre" eclamptic and had what they THINK was a placental abruption. This was never determined to be accurate or not b/c I delivered before they had a chance to do an ultrasound and check the placenta. Anyway my question is that my sister's Dr. told her that pre-eclampsia can run in families, my other friend who also had it said her Dr told her it is actually the Dad who determines this, though they do not know how or why this is true. These seem to be two very different theories and I would like to know if anyone knows what the actual "truth" is. I'm terrified of having another baby at this point because of all this happening so close to home, but I want more children. I need to know what my risks are before I jump in though. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Chelsie
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Re: Does pre-eclampsia run in families?

Postby alviarin » Thu Jul 12, 2012 01:07 pm

There definitely can be a genetic componenet to pre-e, both maternal and paternal.

Sons of preeclamptic pregnancies are more likely to father pre-e pregnancies than the general population. If your mother or sister had pre-eclampsia that is considered an even stronger risk factor.

In my case, no maternal history of pre-eclampsia in my family. However, my paternal grandmother had pre-e with my dad. Plus my mother-in-law had pre-e with both her pregnancies, including my husband and his sister. His sister only devleoped pre-e only during her second pregnancy- with a different partner who also had a family history of preeclampsia.

However, even if you have a history of pre-e that doesn't mean you will get it again. Pre-e is much more common in first pregnancies, and if pre-e does strike again in subsequent pregnancies it tends to strike later or less severely. One theory is because subsequent pregnancies are able to implant better by taking advantage of prior uterine spiral artery remodeling accomplished by the first pregnancy/placenta.

Here is a link talking about general re-occurence rates: http://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/viewt ... f=19&t=331

If you would like to get a better idea of your individual risks, you could always schedule a pre-conception appointment with a MFM specializing in high risk pregnancies. They should be able to test for any possible underlying disorders and give you a better breakdown of your odds based on your individual medical history. http://www.smfm.org/
Hypothyroid mom to Connor and Claire
(severe pre-e at 38 weeks & "mild" pre-e at 37 weeks)
& baby Annabelle
(chronic HTN & GD, superimposed pre-e @34 weeks, induction @37 weeks)
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