April 30, 2022 - Melbourne, FL – Preeclampsia, a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, is a leading cause of premature birth and a major contributor to adverse maternal outcomes and maternal death. This May, the Preeclampsia Foundation, a US-based patient advocacy organization, is working to ensure that all expectant parents know that preeclampsia can affect any person, in any pregnancy.
The Preeclampsia Foundation joins with leading maternal health partners each May to educate women on preeclampsia’s signs and symptoms during pregnancy, and make them aware that they are “still at risk” for postpartum preeclampsia following their baby’s delivery.
Preeclampsia occurs in about 1 in every 12 pregnancies in the United States, and affects women indiscriminately regardless of health, access to resources, race, or socioeconomic status. While there are known risk factors, including first time pregnancies, a personal or family history of high blood pressure, or having had preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy, the disorder also occurs in women with no risk factors.
“Currently a cure for preeclampsia does not exist, so by being aware of signs and symptoms, pregnant women can be empowered to take their concerns to their healthcare providers and be more closely monitored to improve outcomes,” said Preeclampsia Foundation CEO Eleni Z. Tsigas.
The 2022 Preeclampsia Awareness Month campaign will also feature the real-life impact that preeclampsia has on women and their families by highlighting findings from the Preeclampsia Registry “Patient Journey” study, recently published in BMJ Open.
Oftentimes with preeclampsia survivors, the exasperation is that ‘I wish I had known the risks’, or ‘I thought swollen hands was just a part of being pregnant.’
Results from our Patient Journey study illustrate the common stages experienced by women. This information allows us to better help them, their families and their healthcare providers achieve more positive outcomes,” explained senior author of the study, Dr. Ellen Seely, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass.
With research continuing to be at the forefront of their mission, the Foundation encourages survivors to get involved in studies like the Patient Journey.
“This study presented a unique opportunity to ‘map’ how patients who are diagnosed with preeclampsia move through the experience of diagnosis, management, treatment, and postpartum physical and mental recovery,” said Preeclampsia Foundation CEO and study co-author Eleni Tsigas. “The study aimed to identify common pain points across the shared patient experience that could then be used by healthcare providers to improve outcomes.”
Throughout the month, survivors are encouraged to follow #anypregnancy and #preeclampsia and participate in social media events that include a series of online sessions with organizations who specialize in understanding the impact of preeclampsia. Additional patient and provider education resources and details on above events are available www.preeclampsia.org/awarenessmonth.
Tsigas adds, “Our work will always be to find a cause and a cure. In the meantime, our greatest tool is education.”
About the Preeclampsia Foundation
The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000 to improve the outcomes of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy by educating, supporting, and engaging the community, improving healthcare practices, and finding a cure. We envision a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.
It is our collective voice that reduces isolation for others, raises awareness and improves healthcare practices. Let's raise up our voices so more women know about preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome and less women have adverse outcomes!
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