Risk factors for preeclampsia and eclampsia
In the African region, 5.6% of pregnancies are estimated to be complicated by preeclampsia and 2.9% by eclampsia, with almost one in ten maternal deaths being associated with hypertensive disorders. Several factors predispose to preeclampsia and eclampsia (PrE/E).

Researchers aimed at assessing population-based risk factors for PrE/E to offer improved management for women at risk. The study was published in the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.

A facility-based, unmatched observational case-control study was conducted. Cases were defined as pregnant or postpartum women diagnosed with PrE/E, and controls as normotensive postpartum women. Data collection was performed with a questionnaire assessing a wide spectrum of factors influencing pregnant women’s health. They analyzed data of 672 women, 214 cases, and 458 controls.

The analysis yielded several independent predictors for PrE/E, including family predisposition for PrE/E, preexisting hypertension, a high mid-upper arm circumflex, presence of urinary tract infection during pregnancy, presence of prolonged diarrhea during pregnancy, low maternal assets, inadequate fruit intake, well or borehole water as the main source of drinking water and living close to a waste deposit.

The findings suggest that systematic assessment of identified PrE/E risk factors, including a family predisposition for PrE/E, preexisting hypertension, or obesity, should be performed early on in ANC, followed by continued close monitoring of first signs and symptoms of PrE/E. Additionally, counseling on nutrition, exercise, and water safety is needed throughout pregnancy as well as education on improved hygiene behavior.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-021-03874-7