You are not alone
and not to blame.
Preeclampsia is not your fault. It is a complex disease that does not discriminate and affects many pregnant women around the world.
What is Preeclampsia?
Many women have never heard of preeclampsia and are understandably frightened when they receive such a diagnosis. The disease is often first apparent during a routine prenatal visit in the third trimester of pregnancy. A common clinical sign of preeclampsia is elevated maternal blood pressure, though other clinical signs and symptoms may include protein in the urine (a sign of kidney damage), headache, visual disturbances, abdominal pain, or swelling of the arms and legs. Preeclampsia has historically been a challenge to diagnose accurately because pregnant women experience a wide and varied spectrum of symptoms. Some pregnant women with preeclampsia may feel completely normal. Currently, the only “cure” for preeclampsia is delivery of the baby and placenta, most often prematurely, but this does not resolve the lasting physical and mental harm done by the disease.
Preeclampsia afflicts more than 10 million women every year around the world with devastating short and long term consequences to both mother and baby. Tragically, it accounts for nearly 80,000 maternal and over 500,000 fetal deaths each year. Although all pregnant women are at risk of developing the disease, it disproportionately affects women of color, women in their teens or over forty years of age, women who have undergone in vitro fertilization, and those in lower socio-economic status.
The burden of preeclampsia is accelerating worldwide and remains an urgent unmet medical need despite more than 50 years of research seeking a cure. It is now a public health crisis.
We are leading a global effort to end this disease and improve maternal health by conducting high quality, safe clinical trials in this complex patient population.
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