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Can Dad's Heart Health Impact Your Preeclampsia Risk?

Association of Preconception Paternal Health and Adverse Maternal Outcomes among Healthy Mothers

The vast majority of research studies working to identify risk factors and prediction models for preeclampsia are focused on the pregnant woman. But what about the other half of the "placental equation"? Researchers for this study suggest that paternal health (meaning the health of the man that contributed the sperm and half the genes to the placenta and baby) should be considered when evaluating a patient’s risk for preeclampsia, too. In this study, researchers asked if paternal health – classified by characteristics of the metabolic syndrome (large waist circumference, high triglycerides, low HDL (the “good” cholesterol), increased blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar) - are linked to maternal health during pregnancy.

Researchers analyzed pregnancy outcomes in over 650,000 healthy women in the IBM Marketscan® research database (which also included data on paternal health) and found a strong relationship between likelihood of preeclampsia and a partner with 2 or more characteristics of the metabolic syndrome. The odds of preeclampsia were 21% higher for women with partners with 2 or more of these characteristics compared to women with partners with none. That means that where 5 out of 100 average women will develop preeclampsia during pregnancy, 6 out of 100 women with partners with metabolic syndrome will. This study shows that in healthy, low risk women, prepregnancy paternal health may be worth assessing to make medical decisions about prenatal care.


About Research Roundup

Each quarter, our team of researchers reviews the most current studies related to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and selects those studies they feel will be of greatest interest to our community to summarize.

Special thanks to our volunteer research team, who under the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Sutton, make Research Roundup possible: Alisse Hauspurg, MD Felicia LeMoine, MD Jenny Sones, PhD, DVM, and Robin Trupp, PhD, RN.

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