What is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a common condition in pregnancy which can be life-threatening for both mother and baby in severe cases. Globally, it affects 10 million pregnant women each year and is responsible for up to 25% of fetal growth restriction (FGR) cases. It also accounts for up to 20% of all preterm births.
 
Every minute, somewhere in the world a woman or a baby dies due to preeclampsia. This amounts to 1,600 daily deaths and over 570,000 deaths in a year.

The current diagnosis of preeclampsia is complex and involves the indirect analysis of maternal health using clinical, biochemical and haematological measures. It requires multiple hospital visits and current management options are not directed at its prevention or treatment. Delivering the baby is the only option available to pregnant women if severe preeclampsia develops despite careful management. There is a significant cost associated with the increased testing and monitoring of pregnant women at risk of developing preeclampsia.

High risk factors for preeclampsia identified during booking appointment.

  • Hypertensive disease during a previous pregnancy

 

  • Chronic kidney disease

 

  • Autoimmune disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus or antiphospholipid syndrome

 

  • Type 1 or type 2 diabetes

 

  • Chronic hypertension

Moderate risk factors for preeclampsia identified during booking appointment.

  • First pregnancy

  • More than 40 years old

  • Pregnancy interval of more than 10 years

  • Body mass index of 35 kg/m2 or more at first visit

  • Family history of preeclampsia

  • Multiple pregnancy