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Preeclampsia epidemic

Are you pregnant again after having preeclampsia once already in a previous pregnancy? Post your thoughts/concerns here - there are others who share your feelings. This is also the home of our Bedrest Buddies Support group.

Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby cmccaffrey » Thu Jan 19, 2012 05:55 pm

by cmccaffrey (458 Posts), Thu Jan 19, 2012 05:55 pm

Okay... not really a relavent question for this board, but I thought someone might be able to shed some light for me.

I am a member of a birth board on another website and it seems like every day another woman is diagnosed with preeclampsia and/or delivered because of preeclampsia. This has been happening since super early on and there have probably been 50 different deliveries in my group alone (group is only for women who's children are due February 2012). It seems like a pretty high number of women are being diagnosed; more than the percentage of women who are thought to develop preeclampsia. Do you think it's poor diagnosis or are doctors becoming more aware of preeclampsia and able to intervene more? Don't get me wrong... I am so glad to see so many crisises averted, but it's just so weird that I knew absolutely NO one before who had been preeclamptic and now everyone seems to be getting that diagnosis.

What are everyone's thoughts on this?
Christa (25) & J (26)
Mommy to:
Mason born 10.11.10 @ 30+3 wks due to Severe Pre-E. Only lived 2.5 days
Noah born 2.1.12 @ 38 weeks thanks to lots of doctors visits, LDA, Lovenox and no preeclampsia!

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Re: Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby libby123 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 07:16 pm

by libby123 (111 Posts), Thu Jan 19, 2012 07:16 pm

I definitely think that part of the explosion of diagnoses is from the improvement in health care. If you think about it, we are 22 years past the year 1990 now, and a lot of medical progress has been made in that time. I agree, I have noticed many women who have PIH or preeclampsia lately, I know at least 3 others.

I had a very slow moving pre-e, my proteins were only considered very mildly preeclamptic at 36 weeks, but I was constantly monitored for my blood pressure and protein levels from my 1st trimester because my hormone levels were so wacky they thought the placenta had not properly implanted. I took 3 24 hr urine tests, and saw my protein rise from 100 to 200 to 400 (doubling each time pretty much).

My mom said that when she was giving birth in the 1980s they only occasionally checked her blood pressure and when they did at my brother's birth, she was discovered to have pre-e but it was not diagnosed earlier.

Also, it may be due to the rise in obesity and overweight people as well, partially. I have some weight to lose, but because my placenta was damaged they think that it wouldn't have made a difference, so who knows.
Mommy to Sailor Ann, born on February 17th 2011 at 36 weeks by c-section due to PIH that slowly turned into preeclampsia.
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Re: Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby claricemaala » Sat Jan 21, 2012 07:41 pm

by claricemaala (59 Posts), Sat Jan 21, 2012 07:41 pm

I really do not think it is an epidemic. I agree that it has been about the same and the healthcare field has acknowledge the existence more and more women are more educated.

I agree that our current may have something to do with it, From all the process foods we eat and all the unnatural items in our daily diet.
I was pregnant twice and at both times I presented with preeclampsia at 27 weeks. This time I am 32 weeks with no symptoms of preeclampsia and still workingg full time. MAybe I am speaking so soon but I am glad that I am 32 weeks and no symptoms.

I have also change a lot of things from my last pregnancy.
I have connected with a cardiologist who had placed me on Labetolol and Methyldopa prior to pregnnacy., He suggested to me to get myself check for sleep apnea for my husband claimed that I am snoring louder and louder. Sure enough I went and have been using a cipap machine since I was 2 months pregnant, My high risk OB thinks that treating this sleep apnea could have contributed to my symptom free pregnancy now. My high risk doc is actually doinga study trying to see eh correlation of sleep apnea and preeclampsia.

I have also added in my diet more organic food, more fruits . Though I still have a lot weakness with diet and cheated. I try to eat papaya daily as much as I can thinking that I ned the nutrution in it.

Aside from LAbetolol and Methyldopa , I am on ASA, Cure weekly and Alcium, Orenatal and folic acid. We have recently increased my LAbetolol from 100 to 200 mg at 31 weeks because of my blood pressure going from 120 's to 140's. It is back down a again. Despite the sressful Mon to Fri work I try to rest as much on weekends and cathching up wuth sleep and relaxation.

I have also been doing accupuncture weekly and yoga.

I really do not know what but I know we cannot control preeclampsia. I really do not thinkl that my docs are doing anything dofferently. I know I have chnage my ways and addedd and elimated some things.

It could also be the "spiral artery theory"--giving/getting pregnant within two years of your last.
By the way , my OB refuses to place me on Lovenox because of my abruptio placenta on my first pregnancy and questionable bleed on my second pregnancy.
So unwillingly and scared that I will not carry this baby longer I followed my docs instrution to just be on ASA and NO LOvenox. Will see. I will keep you guys up to date.

But I wish success to all teh women out there. ANd sorry I have not posted beacuse I am watching my pregnancy cautiously.
I am scheduled for C section at 37 1/2 weeks on 2/28/2012. My estimated delivery is 3/15/12.
Thanks for listening
Mom to 6 year old. Born at 33 1/2 weeks after preeclampsia and abruptio placenta.
Angel boy -Michael- born 2/1/2010 at 31 weeks. Had pre eclampsia and hospital bedrest at 27 weeks. Died due to NEC. Forever loved and missed
Rainbow baby due Feb 2012. Hoping for a looooonnnnnnngggg uneventful pregnancy.
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Re: Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby uncskristy » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:24 am

by uncskristy (171 Posts), Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:24 am

I have noticed this as well. I am wondering if maybe because doctors are becoming more educated about the disease if they are just moving quicker instead of taking the chance of the PE blowing up and becoming severe.
Mommy of Three Boys- Davis 10/4/2007(No PE, overbaked at 40wks, 2 days),
Cooper 5/20/2010-5/21/2010 (born too early at 24wks, 2 days due to severe PE) and
Blaine 10/11/11 (35wks, 6 days, mild but quick moving PE)
Wife to Matthew since 6/11/2005
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Re: Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby riehlism » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:40 am

by riehlism (655 Posts), Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:40 am

I agree with the other ladies. I think the physicians are becoming more knowledgeable about preeclampsia. Physicians in general see a ton of people with high blood pressure and some don't even blink an eye about it. But perhaps with continuing education and may the work of the Preeclampsia Foundation has really put things in the forefront.

In addition, hospitals have routine M&Ms--Morbidity and Mortality case reviews. They go over certain cases, discuss what happened, possible differential diagnoses, and other possible treatment options.

Preeclampsia runs the gamut in symptoms and outcomes. Maybe they are just being more dilligent and proactive. That is a great thing if you ask me. I am sure there are a number of women out there who delivered early not know why, or felt "funny" and had a mild form of it.

I also think that women like us who talk about it openly with friends and family also help to spread the word, and more women are talking with their physicians about it.
Jasmin: Severe PE/HELLP and delivered at 24+6 & PCOS (29) Hubby Bubby, Frank (29)
Baby Blue stopped in to say hello and goodbye on 6/3/10
Baby Lucas was born on 10/13/11, PE and HELLP-free! Thank you baby aspirin and Lovenox
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Re: Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby sage1 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 09:52 am

by sage1 (14 Posts), Tue Feb 21, 2012 09:52 am

I totally agree I think there is an epidemic of preeclampsia !! And with all the advances in medical care this is not acceptable ! I don't agree with the causes they list for pre-e saying diet, genes, age etc .. I really think its stress .. I no many women who are overweight, smokers, who have had easy pregnancy's !? I no its wrong women smoking while pregnant it makes me sick !! They don't know how fortunate they are to not have complications during there pregnancies .. so if weight were a factor how come there are millions of over weight women unaffected ?? We can all say we no of someone who is overweight, older, no family hx. That has not been affected by this horrible thing of pre-e .. I also truely believe if a Dr. Is going to be treating a pregnant woman they should know all the signs of pre-e ... A lot of pregnant women have to see general family doctors not an OB Dr. Which was my case !!! My life has changed because of this man's ignorance !! My life and child's life were in his hands, under his authority !!! This was my first pregnancy I didn't no any better ... He ignored everything I said, I should have gone to get another opinion !!!! That torments me everyday that if I did maybe I would have my son in my arms today :oops: its been a little over 9 months now I still feel like it was yesterday and I burst out crying all the time .. I'm glad to find comfort knowing I'm not alone but we all need to get our messages out there loud and clear !!! I wish pre-e had more awareness !!!!!! I am the first of all the women in my family to experience this such a horrible thing to experience ..
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Re: Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby sage1 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:19 am

by sage1 (14 Posts), Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:19 am

It's wrong that your second time around is when you get better care .. having to go through a tramatic experience first ...
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Re: Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby alexis » Tue Feb 21, 2012 06:01 pm

by alexis (305 Posts), Tue Feb 21, 2012 06:01 pm

There may be some increase due to:
- obesity
- increased multiples
- increased numbers of women with underlying risk factors having babies, including higher rates of chronic hypertension
- more older women having babies

But i agree that a lot of the increase may simply be due to better diagnosis.
Chronic hypertension
Aliza - 01/05/2007 - Severe preeclampsia, emergency CS 37 weeks
Isaac - 09/26/2011 - controlled on 150mg Toprol, NO PE, 39 weeks!
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Re: Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby caryn » Wed Feb 22, 2012 09:42 am

by caryn (10177 Posts), Wed Feb 22, 2012 09:42 am

There was an interesting study out about age and pregnancy the other day, where women in their 50s who were using donor eggs because of age were compared to younger women using donor eggs because of prior medical complications that meant they didn't have their own. The older women were expected to have higher rates of complications... and didn't. It wasn't age that lead to hypertensive complications - but just the use of donor eggs itself. Here's a discussion of the study: ... 171806.htm

So this supports something we say a lot here: *it isn't something you did*. It's not really lifestyle factors, from what we can tell - women develop this disease because of the unique combination of maternal and paternal genes that make up the placenta. Every lifestyle factor they find is correlated but not causal - as sage says, many overweight and obese women sail through pregnancy, and many thin women develop PE, even if it's also true that more obese women develop PE than do thin women. Probably that's because of underlying genes that make it more likely that you'll become obese in the modern environment *and* make it more likely that you'll develop preeclampsia. Some women with incredibly calm pregnancies, like me, get severe preeclampsia, and some women live in war-torn societies without access to enough food and with relatives slaughtered by the military, and sail through.

It really isn't fair that PE doesn't care if we've done everything right. But it isn't a just disease. It's a brutal disease.
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies? Lectures from researchers?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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Re: Preeclampsia epidemic

Postby sage1 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 02:05 am

by sage1 (14 Posts), Sat Mar 17, 2012 02:05 am

Hello again ladies just wanted to put some more input ... I'm obsessed with pre-eclampsia 4ever now I want to help other mothers out there ... I've read a lot of articles one with a woman who experienced pre e over 20 years ago and she stated how the care and treatment hasent changed much over time !!! That is just unacceptable ... Also I see a lot of actresses now days having their children in there late 30 to early 40 s maybe they don't share every detail but they seem to have good pregnancies ? Ive heard of a few celebrities that have had this and I wonder why they don't use there fame to bring more awareness to this tragedy ??
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