Experts don't know the exact cause of
But it may start with a poorly developed
placenta that doesn't circulate blood normally. What causes this placenta problem isn't yet clear. Experts also don't know why the
mother's body then develops high blood pressure.
Immune system response
occurs most often in women who are pregnant for the first time and in women who
have been pregnant before but now have a first pregnancy with a different man.
Exposure to an
antigen from the father (in the growing
placenta or fetus, for example) may trigger an immune
response in the woman's body. This immune response—the body's way of fighting infection—may result in narrowing of
the blood vessels throughout the body, causing higher blood pressure and other
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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