Hey there! This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a teensy commission from qualifying purchases when you buy through these links (at no additional cost to you). For more info, please check the full disclaimer.
Did you know every 1 in 25 soon-to-be-moms experience preeclampsia? It’s a serious pregnancy complication that can cause seizures, destroy the kidneys and liver, and can be life-threatening in severe cases.
This new study conducted in November 2020 reveals interesting facts about the relationship between preeclampsia, BMI, and blood pressure. Scientists found that preeclampsia is a genetic disease with dangerous implications for both mother and the baby.
Let’s learn more about the condition and what you can do to avoid it.
Details about the study
This study was conducted by Dr. Linda Morgan from the University of Nottingham’s School of Life Sciences and her collaborators Noor Kalsheker and Fiona Broughton Pipkin. The research was published in Nature Communications.
They conducted the research to investigate the relation of preeclampsia to blood pressure and body mass index. Moreover, the researchers studied the association between gene variants and preeclampsia to determine if there is any genetic link between blood pressure and pregnancy.
The team examined the genes of 9,515 preeclamptic women and 157,719 other individuals. During this research, the team pinpointed a few DNA variant genes signaling the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women.
The study also revealed that hypertension before and during pregnancy is a significant risk factor for preeclampsia. Thus, it’s important to prevent high blood pressure and treat weight issues to avoid preeclampsia.
What were the findings?
- This dangerous condition affects 5% of the pregnant women population and causes the death of 50,000 children every year.
- If you’re genetically prone to high blood pressure, you’re likely to experience preeclampsia.
- Hypertension in pregnancy leads to vascular destruction, resulting in serious cardiovascular diseases along with birthing complications.
- Higher BMI raises the risk of genetic blood pressure, which often triggers preeclampsia symptoms.
- 5 genetic variants have been linked to increased risk of preeclampsia.
In the future, these findings could help doctors to closely follow up and monitor the progress of pregnant women who have high BMI and are prone to gestational hypertension. This would ultimately improve pregnancy outcomes for both moms-to-be and babies.
What is preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication that results in neurological issues, high blood pressure, and creates problems with blood clotting. It’s also associated with an increased danger of seizures and fluid build-up in the lungs.
Symptoms of preeclampsia usually last for more than a month. This disease rarely occurs during the second trimester of pregnancy and mostly in the 3rd trimester. Many women lose their life and baby to this horrifying disease, especially if they fail to get timely treatment.
How does preeclampsia affect moms and babies?
Because of high blood pressure, the blood supply to the brain gets affected. This situation is known as hemorrhage and stroke. In severe cases, the brain doesn’t get enough nutrients on time, and ultimately, it leads to the death of the mother and baby.
Mothers with preeclampsia suffer proper damage to their vital organs such as kidneys, liver, and lungs. They might experience serious heart attack symptoms as well.
If doctors suspect fatality, they usually opt for immediate delivery or operation. In case that’s not possible, pregnant women are monitored closely until they’re ready to give birth.
How to prevent preeclampsia?
The best thing you can do to prevent preeclampsia is to manage your weight and blood pressure. Staying active is crucial for physical fitness, even if it’s just a few minutes of walking. You can also try some weight loss exercise routines for beginners.
Also, pay attention to what you eat. Eat a fiber-rich diet as it minimizes weight issues. It also helps boost metabolism. Drink lots of water daily. Avoid adding too much salt to your foods.