While it might be nice to do this as a blog, we don't currently have that set up on our website, so let me just provide a few highlights from the floor of "The Pregnancy Meeting" - SMFM's annual conference, held this week in San Diego. (with apologies to those of you shoveling snow!)
You may have seen some of media coverage already: yesterday's USA Today reported on the study indicating treating mild gestational diabetes reduces the risk of developing preeclampsia (and delivering extra large babies).
Dr. Jim Roberts reported the final results from the large NICHD-sponsored antioxidant trial. All the data showed absolutely no benefit from antioxidants. The results also raised interesting questions about the role of oxidative stress on the maternal syndrome, suggesting that perhaps it doesn't have the impact previously held by that theory. It's certainly not dismissed as a theory, but raised questions for further evaluation; and because it was such a HUGE study, the samples collected will be used in other studies being developed now.
As expected, there have been several presentations on a variety of biomarkers, and there are several companies here who have benefited from the advent of proteomics to identify biomarkers that may be able to be used as in predictive or diagnostic tests. This is an aggressive research area and accordingly you see some strong studies and some not so well-designed studies. Nonetheless, this is an exciting area that the Preeclampsia Foundation is keenly watching. (As an aside, PerkinElmer, one of the handful of companies developing a test, is surveying practitioners here and donating $25 to the PF for every completed survey, for which we are grateful.)
Dr. Jacob Lykke, along with several colleagues out of Yale, presented a very well designed study using a cohort out of the Netherlands to show recurrence and subsequent cardiovascular events. While the literature is abundant on the linkage between PE and CVD (see our position paper here www.preeclampsia.org/PositionStmt_LateEffects_Oct06.pdf), this is the strongest presentation I've seen on the topic and thrilled to see one of their conclusions was a strong admonition to other care providers to ask about a patient's pregnancy history. We're going to be working with these researchers to make this presentation available on our website.
A large prospective study out of University of Pennsylvania found NO association between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes, including PE.
As is usually the case with these large conferences, concurrent sessions means you can't get to everything, but I'm doing my best to get to ones of greatest interest to us.
That's the end of Day 1 of oral presentations. I'll try to report in again tomorrow.
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