Health Questions and Answers

Question: How often does preeclampsia occur? Which women are at greater risk?


Preeclampsia occurs in 6-8% of all live births. Risk factors include nulliparity, extremes of reproductive age (< 15 and > 35 years of age), African-American race, history of preeclampsia in a first-degree female relative, history of preeclampsia in a prior pregnancy, diabetes, chronic vascular or renal disease, chronic hypertension, and multiple gestations.

Reference: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Diagnosis and Management of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 33. Obstet Gynecol 99:159-167, 2002.

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