Objective: To determine the role of secular trend in preeclampsia.

Materials and Methods: Both at puberty and in the 3rd trimester of 65 singleton-primigravid preeclapmtics (Group I) and 867 comparable healthy, pregnants (Group II), body mass index (BMI), serum testosterones (total & free), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, estradiol and sex hormone-binding globulin levels were measured. Also, the ages at menarche, umbilical S/D ratio, fetal sex and small muscular arteries/high power field (SMA/HPF) were detected.

Results: In group I menarche occurred earlier (p<0.001) with higher BMI (p<0.001). Also, testosterones were significantly higher (p<0.001 for both) both at puberty and during pregnancy, irrespective of fetal sex. Also, S/D ratio was higher with smaller SMA/HPF (p<0.001 for both). Also, BMI at puberty and testosterone levels; on one hand showed strong +ve correlation to diastolic blood pressure and S/D ratio and strong -ve correlation to SMA/HPF on the other hand.

Conclusions: Preeclamptic primigravid showed earlier puberty, significant increase in BMI with significantly higher levels of testosterones than comparable normotensive women, which were associated with more severe disease. This may indicate a significant role for androgens both in the pathogenesis and the severity of PET.

Key words: PET, secular trend, androgen, S/D ratio.