- Stages of Pregnancy Slideshow Pictures
- Early Pregnancy Symptoms
- Conception (Egg to Embryo) Slideshow Pictures
- Patient Comments: Preeclampsia - Personal Experience
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- Preeclampsia Facts*
- What Is High Blood Pressure?
- What Are the Effects of High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy?
- What Is Preeclampsia?
- How Common Are High Blood Pressure and Preeclampsia in Pregnancy?
- Who Is More Likely to Develop Preeclampsia?
- What Are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia and How Is It Detected?
- How Can Women with High Blood Pressure Prevent Problems During Pregnancy?
- Does Hypertension or Preeclampsia During Pregnancy Cause Long-Term Heart and Blood Vessel Problems?
Quick GuideStages of Pregnancy: See the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimesters of Mom & Baby
How Common Are High Blood Pressure and Preeclampsia in Pregnancy?
High blood pressure problems occur in 6 percent to 8 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S., about 70 percent of which are first-time pregnancies. In 1998, more than 146,320 cases of preeclampsia alone were diagnosed.
Although the proportion of pregnancies with gestational hypertension and eclampsia has remained about the same in the U.S. over the past decade, the rate of preeclampsia has increased by nearly one-third. This increase is due in part to a rise in the numbers of older mothers and of multiple births, where preeclampsia occurs more frequently. For example, in 1998 birth rates among women ages 30 to 44 and the number of births to women ages 45 and older were at the highest levels in 3 decades, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Furthermore, between 1980 and 1998, rates of twin births increased about 50 percent overall and 1,000 percent among women ages 45 to 49; rates of triplet and other higher-order multiple births jumped more than 400 percent overall, and 1,000 percent among women in their 40s.
Who Is More Likely to Develop Preeclampsia?
- Women with chronic hypertension (high blood pressure before becoming pregnant).
- Women who developed high blood pressure or preeclampsia during a previous pregnancy, especially if these conditions occurred early in the pregnancy.
- Women who are obese prior to pregnancy.
- Pregnant women under the age of 20 or over the age of 40.
- Women who are pregnant with more than one baby.
- Women with diabetes, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma.