Posted in Health Information on April 29, 2013 by Website
The risk of preeclampsia is higher in women with chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), but studies have shown that it is far safer to keep a woman's hypertension under control during pregnancy than to risk preeclampsia superimposed on top of uncontrolled chronic hypertension. The good news is there are many anti-hypertensive medications, and many of them have been successfully and safely used in pregnancy.
"For most drugs in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, the indications for treatment outweigh potential risks. Treatment should be individualized to meet the specific needs of each woman," said Dr. Tom Easterling, director of the Foundation's medical advisory ...
Posted in Health Information on April 04, 2013 by Website
American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists President James T. Breeden, MD, raises awareness in his March blog about the trend in cesarean sections. "Today, one in three babies in the US are born by cesarean - the delivery of a baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus," wrote Breeden. "The rate of labor induction is also at an all-time high. Unfortunately, many of these births occur before the pregnancy is considered 'term' at 39 weeks. These upward trends have long been a source of concern in the medical community, especially considering the increased risks to a baby who may not be fully developed at ...
Posted in Health Information on March 04, 2013 by Website
Awareness that good outcomes don't always happen helps us prepare while hoping for the best.
Just because a pregnancy is classed as high-risk doesn't mean that it will become medically complicated - and just because a pregnancy is classed as low-risk doesn't mean that it won't. Many of us know this firsthand; we were low-risk right up until the complications developed in our first preeclamptic pregnancy, or went into a subsequent pregnancy classified as high-risk, only to breathe a sign of relief as we delivered a full-term healthy baby.
We've all seen the list of risk factors for preeclampsia: first pregnancy, personal or family history of preeclampsia, underlying conditions like chronic hypertension or lupus or autoimmune conditions, obesity, history of infertility or prior miscarriage. Awareness of your ...
Posted in Health Information on December 05, 2012 by Website
By Dr. Anne Wallis ~ Who remembers the first season ER episode "Love's Labours Lost"? The answer: pretty much anyone who ever watched ER! In the episode, a pregnant woman presents to the emergency room with a complaint of bladder problems, has a seizure and later dies. This was my first exposure to the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Eclampsia is, thankfully, rare, but it carries a high case fatality rate for the mother and/or the infant. Gestational hypertension and preeclampsia are far more common, affecting between 5% and 8% of all pregnancies in the US. Moreover, these conditions are on the rise and globally, these conditions are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death.
Obstetric providers are acutely aware of the dangers of preeclampsia because of its potential severity and rapidity of onset and progression, making high-quality prenatal ...
Posted in Health Information on September 04, 2012 by Website
A recent Preeclampsia Foundation survey reveals that most women feel that books that provide complete and accurate information about preeclampsia would help them approach their pregnancies as empowered patients. The survey, conducted as a follow-up to the May release of the Preeclampsia Foundation's Report on the Top 10 Pregnancy Books, asked women about the pregnancy books they used during their pregnancies and about their feelings regarding the preeclampsia information contained in those books.
All respondents were entered into a contest to receive a signed copy of one of the top 3 books and a Preeclampsia Foundation gift basket. Congratulations go to Melissa S., Teri P., and Laura R. for winning the random drawing!
Not surprisingly, the majority of respondents (69%) reported that they relied on the bestselling What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel ...
Posted in Health Information on August 05, 2012 by Website
By Quincy Fleming ~ Physical activity is something that my husband and I have always enjoyed, so it is only natural that my children have also gravitated towards endurance sports. It takes a lot of time and creative scheduling to get workouts in, but instead of trying to keep the workouts and family time separate, we find all kinds of crazy ways to include our two children. In fact, my husband and I are currently training for an Iron Distance Triathlon. Why, you might ask?
My children and I are preeclampsia survivors. And while we are lucky to have escaped with our lives, our health, our sanity, I know that we are at a heightened risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity. It seems every lifestyle disease out there carries an extra punch for us. So we asked ourselves: why not embrace healthy lifestyles and exercise as part of our everyday family time?
Unfortunately, because the life that includes raising small children is demanding and time consuming, ...
Posted in Health Information on February 28, 2011 by Website
In an unprecedented move, the American Heart Association (AHA) updated its cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines for women last month to recognize preeclampsia and other pregnancy complications as risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), such as heart attack and stroke.
According to the AHA's press release: "[W]omen with a history of preeclampsia face double the risk of stroke, heart disease and dangerous clotting in veins during the five to 15 years after pregnancy. Essentially, having pregnancy complications can now be considered equivalent to ...
Posted in Health Information on January 02, 2011 by Website
Though the 2009-2010 flu season has come and gone, worries about the upcoming flu season and its potential effect on pregnant women have not abated. With the support of educational campaigns through the Center for Disease Control, the general population was made aware of the potentially fatal H1N1 virus and identifying increased risk of serious complications. The disease had a particularly devastating effect on pregnant women. As of April 2010, 28 out of 700 reported cases in pregnant women resulted in a fatality, meaning one death out of every 25 women with H1N1. Because of this alarming mortality rate and to prevent further adverse outcomes, the medical world strove to increase the reach of patient education and awareness campaigns.
In October 2009, the Preeclampsia Foundation prepared a study to measure the effectiveness of these educational campaigns, as well ...
Posted in Health Information on July 04, 2010 by Website
Although the literature is scant, research has shown that lack of patient information is correlated to poor health outcomes. Our own research shows that fewer than half of pregnant women are educated about the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia by their health care providers. (As an aside, we've been working with epidemiologists at the University of Iowa to conduct deeper analysis of our data; this research has been deemed compelling enough that we'll be sharing our findings via an oral presentation at the ISSHP World Congress in Melbourne, Australia.)
Thus, patient education is high on our list of priorities. This includes involving a broad spectrum of health care providers in this effort.
There are many occasions where pregnant women come in ...
Posted in Health Information on October 04, 2008 by Website
Say “matrix” and visions of a kick-boxing, black-clad Keanu Reeves may come to mind. No, this is not a movie review.
Every day, a small army of Harvard Medical School researchers reports to The Life Sciences Building in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. It’s new, ultra high-tech. It towers over its neighboring hospitals and research facilities and, with its clean lines, giant glass panels and sweeping marble stairway, would be a set designer’s dream for another sequel to “The Matrix”. The men and women who spend so much of their lives in this futuristic workplace are pulmonologists, oncologists, nephrologists, neurologists; they are natives of France, Norway, Sweden, Finland, India, China, Japan, Turkey, and the U.S. They study and work under the leadership of Dr. Raghu Kalluri, Chief of the Division of Matrix Biology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Composed of proteins and found throughout the body, the matrix serves as a platform for ...
Posted in Health Information on July 04, 2008 by Website
Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses are a key way for medical professionals to upgrade their skills, master the latest research and qualify for promotions and membership in industry organizations. Last year the Preeclampsia Foundation and the University of Minnesota’s Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health joined together to create the first-ever online CME course devoted to preeclampsia prediction, management and outcomes. Now that the first offering of the course is complete, feedback from participants suggests that it could play an important role in improving awareness, diagnosis and treatment.
The CME was divided into three modules: one devoted to diagnosis, a second with the latest treatment and management information, and the third focusing on heart disease prevention in preeclampsia survivors. Physicians Dr. Thomas Easterling, Dr. Michael Katz and Dr. Tanya Melnik conducted the lectures, which were accompanied by online PowerPoint ...
Posted in Health Information on July 04, 2008 by Website
After several years of trying, the Preeclampsia Foundation was recently notified that it has finally been accepted in to the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).
As anyone familiar with the CFC knows, the application and review process for acceptance as a CFC charity is rigorous. Among other things, to be part of the national campaign, each charity must prove that it actually does have a national presence. As always, our Preeclampsia Foundation volunteers came through with data, facts, and figures that enabled staff to complete the application in timely fashion and make the cut!
For those who may be unfamiliar with the CFC, it is the only authorized fundraising entity for federal government employees, including postal employees and military ...
Posted in Health Information on January 04, 2007 by Website
Several years ago, Dr. Jun “Jim” Zhang, a senior investigator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development approached the Preeclampsia Foundation about working together on an epidemiological research study. Here was the study’s rationale:
“Preeclampsia is a syndrome of hypertension accompanied by proteinuria. It is a major pregnancy complication, associated with premature delivery, fetal growth restriction, abruptio placentae, and fetal death, as well as maternal morbidity and mortality. Although preeclampsia has been recognized for centuries, the etiology of this disorder remains unknown. Familial clustering of preeclampsia has long been identified, leading to the concept of a genetic basis for this syndrome. We propose a familial genetic study of preeclampsia. As such a study is often difficult to do, we plan to conduct a pilot study to test the feasibility, logistics and examine frequency of genetic polymorphism of certain genes in the target ...