Journal article

Parent-Offspring Conflict and the Persistence of Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension in Modern Humans

Birgitte Hollegaard, Sean G Byars, Jacob Lykke, Jacobus J Boomsma



Preeclampsia is a major cause of perinatal mortality and disease affecting 5-10% of all pregnancies worldwide, but its etiology remains poorly understood despite considerable research effort. Parent-offspring conflict theory suggests that such hypertensive disorders of pregnancy may have evolved through the ability of fetal genes to increase maternal blood pressure as this enhances general nutrient supply. However, such mechanisms for inducing hypertension in pregnancy would need to incur sufficient offspring health benefits to compensate for the obvious risks for maternal and fetal health towards the end of pregnancy in order to explain why these disorders have not been removed by natural s..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

The Centre for Social Evolution is funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. S. G. Byars was also supported by a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IIF-276565. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.