May 18, 2021 - Melbourne, FL – About one in ten women, globally, will experience a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, including preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count) Syndrome. Each year, these disorders claim the lives of nearly 76,000 mothers and 500,000 babies (as they are a leading cause of preterm birth) worldwide. The health risk does not end with the delivery of her baby. Research studies have shown that preeclampsia survivors are at 2-10 times greater risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), including stroke, and are four times more likely to have high blood pressure.
The Preeclampsia Foundation and the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP) are inviting global maternal health organizations to join them for the fifth annual World Preeclampsia Day on Saturday, May 22, 2021. This year’s World Preeclampsia Day’s message focuses on Preeclampsia: Beyond Pregnancy – educating women about both their immediate and long-term health risks and encouraging them to make lifestyle changes that benefit their health, now and later.
“Our goal is to educate and empower mothers to know that when it comes to their health, preeclampsia goes beyond pregnancy,” says Eleni Tsigas, Chief Executive Officer of the Preeclampsia Foundation. “As patient advocates, we urge women to take charge of their health not just during pregnancy, but for the rest of their lives.”
After a pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia, women have an increased risk of CVD and cardiovascular related death. We recommend that women not only educate themselves, but also partner with their healthcare providers and family. Success is most likely with a ‘team effort’.
“The call to educate and empower is a message of hope,” says Professor Laura Magee, MD, President of ISSHP, practicing clinician, and advocate for patient engagement. “While having had preeclampsia does put a woman at risk for future complications, there is so much she can do to take charge and positively influence her future health to prevent problems from occurring at all.”
With input from dozens of experts, the organizations have created My Health Beyond Pregnancy, a downloadable planning tool, with additional resources at https://www.preeclampsia.org/beyondpregnancy.
On Saturday, May 22 at 10 AM EST listen in on "Global Voices in Maternal Care” a conversation about preeclampsia, the postpartum period, and why we must look "Beyond Pregnancy" to truly understand the effects of hypertension on a woman’s whole health. The conversation will be broadcast that day on the Preeclampsia Foundation’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and website. Panelists include Dr. Magee of the United Kingdom, Annetine Staff, MD, PhD, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; José M. Belizán MD, PhD, Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS), Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Shuchita Mundle, MD, All India Institute of Medical Science, Nagpur, India.
Tsigas adds, “Our work for a cause and cure continues; in the meantime, our greatest tool is education.”
About the Preeclampsia Foundation
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 their babies. Visit www.preeclampsia.org.
About the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy
The International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP), founded in 1976, aims to stimulate research in the field of hypertension in pregnancy, disseminate the useful results of such research, and advance education in the field. It is recognized by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and The World Health Organization (WHO) and has ongoing joint initiatives with both these organizations. The Society is allied to its high-quality journal Pregnancy Hypertension: An International Journal of Women’s Cardiovascular Health. Visit www.isshp.org
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