"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Planned birth can reduce preeclampsia, says study

April 10, 2023 – Caesarean sections and other types of planned birth can significantly reduce the variety of cases of preeclampsia – a dangerous type of hypertension in expectant moms – that occur within the late stages of pregnancy, in response to a study published on Monday in hypertensionthe peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.

Timed birth strategies are sometimes used to forestall other medical problems, but are rarely used to forestall preeclampsia throughout the period referred to as “term,” between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy, a Press release by the AHA. Preeclampsia occurs most often during this time, the press release said.

“Our findings suggest that over half of cases of preeclampsia at term could be prevented by timed (planned) delivery,” said lead study writer Laura A. Magee, MD, professor of ladies's health at King's College London. “It is important to note that a higher risk of preeclampsia at term was associated with earlier spontaneous onset of labor, so women at highest risk were already less likely to have delivered close to their due date.”

The researchers examined health records from two hospitals within the United Kingdom dating back over 10 years. There were 57,131 pregnancies with health records at 11 to 13 weeks, of which there have been 1,138 cases of pre-eclampsia at term, and 29,035 pregnancies with health records at 35 to 36 weeks, of which there have been 619 cases of pre-eclampsia at term.

The research team assessed the danger of preeclampsia and the potential advantages of timely delivery for each groups using standard clinical criteria for preeclampsia and a risk prediction model. The risk prevention model used computer programs to look at aspects comparable to maternal history, blood pressure, ultrasound and blood tests.

According to the AHA, preeclampsia is a life-threatening condition that happens in 1 in 25 pregnancies within the United States. It is generally diagnosed after 20 weeks of pregnancy and has symptoms comparable to headaches, vision problems and swelling of the hands, feet, face or eyes. The condition is an indicator of increased heart problems in women later in life.