Nana Yaa Achiaa Kariaki Agyemang
H3Africa PI: Dwomoa Adu
Project Affiliation: H3Africa Kidney Disease Research Network
Pregnant African Americans carry more than a 2-fold higher risk of Preeclampsia toxaemia (PET) as compared to non-Hispanic Whites (6.04% to 3.75%) and Hispanic Americans (6.04% to 2.58%)(P<0.0001 Recent studies suggest that Africans in Sub-Saharan Africa (African Blacks) also have a similarly high predilection to PET as do African Americans. In one study in Ghana, the incidence of PET was 7.9%. The high incidence of PET in African Americans and African blacks suggests that these two populations may share common genetic predispositions for such. One possible contributor to preeclampsia are variants in the G6PD gene, encoding for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). G6PD variants evolved and rose to a high level in some populations including Africans because they provided protection against malaria. Some studies have suggested that G6PD deficiency may be associated with preeclampsia. We studied this in a case control study of 154 Ghanaian women with preeclampsia and 169 pregnant healthy controls receiving antenatal care at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. Isolated genomic DNA was uniplex-PCR amplified, and Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism was assayed for single-base variants of both G6PD 202 and G6PD 376. Using the chi-square test and logistic regression, the association between maternal G6PD (A and A-) variants and PET was determined. 23.3% of maternal cases with preeclampsia were deficient for G6PD variant A-, as did 8.90% of controls and for the variant A, 36.4% of maternal cases with preeclampsia were deficient whiles 21.9% of controls were deficient for variant A. We conclude that maternal G6PD variants A and A- showed an association to the development of preeclampsia [p =0.016, p = 0.005] respectively, with the A – increasing the risk of PET development by more than 4 fold (OR=4.20 [2.25-12.1] p = 0.002). These data suggest that G6PD deficiency may be associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia. This observation needs to be confirmed in a larger study.