Investigating a Potential Causal Relationship Between Maternal Blood Pressure During Pregnancy and Future Offspring Cardiometabolic Health
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Observational epidemiological studies have reported that higher maternal blood pressure (BP) during pregnancy is associated with increased future risk of offspring cardiometabolic disease. However, it is unclear whether this association represents a causal relationship through intrauterine mechanisms. We used a Mendelian randomization (MR) framework to examine the relationship between unweighted maternal genetic scores for systolic BP and diastolic BP and a range of cardiometabolic risk factors in the offspring of up to 29 708 genotyped mother-offspring pairs from the UKB study (UK Biobank) and the HUNT study (Trøndelag Health). We conducted similar analyses in up to 21 423 father-offspring pairs from the same cohorts. We confirmed that the BP-associated genetic variants from the general population sample also had similar effects on maternal BP during pregnancy in independent cohorts. We did not detect any association between maternal (or paternal) unweighted genetic scores and cardiometabolic offspring outcomes in the meta-analysis of UKB and HUNT after adjusting for offspring genotypes at the same loci. We find little evidence to support the notion that maternal BP is a major causal risk factor for adverse offspring cardiometabolic outcomes in later life.