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    Home > Food News > Nutrition News > This simple test can predict dangerous blood pressure in pregnant women

    This simple test can predict dangerous blood pressure in pregnant women

    • Last Update: 2022-01-24
    • Source: Internet
    • Author: User
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    Up to 8 percent of pregnant women develop high blood pressure, which can damage their organs and even kill their babies
    .
    Often, this symptom, known as preeclampsia, does not appear until the third trimester of pregnancy
    .
    Now, by analyzing patterns of gene activity for RNA markers in the blood of pregnant women, researchers have come up with a test that could one day predict complications months before they occur
    .

    "It's an exciting paper," said Andre Edello, a specialist in maternal and child medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital who was not involved in the work
    .
    The approach could lead to new, more personalized treatments for preeclampsia, which would be "a completely different way of administering medicine," she said.

    Preeclampsia occurs in part because blood vessels in the placenta, an organ that helps nourish a developing fetus, do not develop properly
    .
    It can develop into eclampsia, or extremely high blood pressure, which can lead to seizures, strokes and death
    .
    So when a pregnant woman has symptoms of preeclampsia, such as high blood pressure and protein in the urine, doctors may give birth early
    .
    But it also comes with health risks
    .

    With no reliable early biomarkers, doctors now use factors such as race (which is more common in black women), age and body mass index (BMI) to calculate a woman's risk in early pregnancy
    .
    High-risk groups can take low-dose aspirin, the most common preventive measure
    .
    But only about 4 percent of women are confirmed to develop preeclampsia this way
    .

    In the new study, the researchers analyzed RNA from blood samples from 1,840 pregnant women of different ancestry, which is produced after the DNA of an active gene is read
    .
    (RNA has leaked into the blood from maternal, fetal and placental cells
    .
    )
    The team first used an artificial intelligence approach called machine learning to discover RNA patterns that fluctuate during pregnancy as the fetus develops normally
    .
    This study confirms small-scale studies showing that these RNA signals can predict fetal ageSame or better than ultrasound.

    Next, to explore whether this pattern could reveal health problems, the scientists compared the RNA pattern of blood samples taken at 6 months of pregnancy from 72 women with preeclampsia with patterns from 452 normal pregnancies
    .
    They found a signal based on seven genes known to be involved in placental development that predicted 75 percent of women who later developed preeclampsia
    .
    Overall, 32 percent of women with this RNA pattern would go on to develop the disease
    .
    That's seven times better than current prediction methods based on factors like race, age and BMI, they report today in The New York Timesnature.

    "This work is a step in the right direction," said Rosa Qiu, a clinical chemist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who was involved in the development.
    Prenatal DNA Blood Test for Down SyndromeThis paves the way for new jobs
    .
    Edlow, who co-authoredCommentIn the paper, he added that there are different types of preeclampsia, some immune-related and others vascular, each with different RNA signatures that could help researchers develop tailored Customized medicine
    .

    The test is also important, the authors say, because it does not depend on race (including race did not improve predictions), but on what actually happens to an individual on a biological level
    .
    Race-based risk calculators have been criticized because race is a social construct not based on genes, and such calculators canDeteriorating medical conditions for ethnic minorities.

    One caveat, though, is that such a test produces many false positives: Two out of every three women in the study with the signature RNA pattern did not develop preeclampsia
    .
    Taking aspirin in small amounts will not cause unnecessary anxiety
    .
    Study leader Thomas McElrath, a fetal-maternal medicine specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, suggested that women who test positive could be brought home with a blood pressure cuff so they can self-monitor if they develop high blood pressure.
    Contact a doctor

    .

    Mirvie, the emerging biotech company that sponsored the study, is continuing to develop the test, which ideally predicts the risk of preeclampsia within three months of pregnancy
    .
    The company also hopes to use gene expression maps to predict other complications, such as gestational diabetes and preterm birth, said McElrath, a paid consultant for Mirvie
    .
    "We used preeclampsia as a test case, but many other things are possible
    .
    "



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