Genetic research of disease has recently turned from individual genes for rare but highly penetrant diseases (like cystic fibrosis) to focus on common, multigene disorders with polygenic inheritance patterns, such as preterm labor, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placental abruption, and thromboembolism. These conditions are characterized by multiple etiologies, chronicity, fetal involvement, adaptive clinical manifestations, and gene-environment interactions. As we understand genetic contributions to complex disease and build upon the genetic data and technology available, more effective and specific management and treatment options will become available for clinicians and their patients.
*Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health and The Pacific Research Center for Early Human Development, University of Hawai'i, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawai'i
†The Lucina Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah
Correspondence: Kenneth Ward, MD, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health, University of Hawai'i, Kapi'olani Hospital, Honolulu, Hawai'i. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (2 U 54 RR014607-06 from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions program in the National Center for Research Resources) and by The Lucina Foundation.