Preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction are related, pregnancy-specific disorders with a substantial genetic influence, which may have a joint genetic aetiology. We investigated familial aggregation, consanguinity and parent-of-origin effects for preeclampsia and IUGR. Fifty women with previous preeclampsia and 56 with previous pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction were recruited from a recent genetically isolated population in the Netherlands. Their relationships were estimated by means of a large genealogy database that contains information on more than 110000 individuals from the isolate over 23 generations. Relationships were quantified using kinship and inbreeding coefficients. Parent-of-origin effects were evaluated by comparing parental kinships. Eighty-six women (39 preeclampsia and 47 intrauterine growth restriction) could be linked to one common ancestor within 14 generations. The proportion of related women with previous preeclampsia (95.6%) or pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction (95.1%) was significantly greater than expected by chance (P<0.001). Combined analysis of both disorders did not change the magnitude of familial aggregation. The proportion of women born from consanguineous marriages was increased in women with previous preeclampsia (81.8%) and those with intrauterine growth restriction (78%) compared to a random sample (P<0.001). Maternal and paternal kinships were not significantly different in both disorders. We demonstrate cosegregation of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction, supporting a common genetic aetiology. The high proportion of parental consanguineous marriages suggests the possibility of an underlying recessive mutation. No evidence was found for a parent-of-origin effect either in preeclampsia or in intrauterine growth restriction.

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Berends, A.L., Steegers, E.A.P., Isaacs, A.J., Aulchenko, Y.S., Liu, F., de Groot, C.J.M., … van Duijn, C.M.. (2008). Familial aggregation of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction in a genetically isolated population in The Netherlands. European Journal of Human Genetics, 16(12), 1437–1442. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2008.118