Preeclampsia solutions sought

SEATTLE, April 4 Developing preeclampsia during pregnancy can result in potentially devastating consequences for both mother and baby. It is one of the leading pregnancy-related causes of death and disability for women and their newborns.

"Preeclampsia often strikes suddenly," said James M. Roberts, M.D., professor and vice chairman of research in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the Magee-Womens Research Institute. "And the sad truth is that there currently is no really effective treatment."

Dr. Roberts is giving a talk on prenatal care as part of the first International Preeclampsia Summit, "Partnering to Generate Global Awareness for Preeclampsia," April 4-6 in Seattle. The summit is being sponsored by the Preeclampsia Foundation and is funded through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Every six minutes, a woman dies of preeclampsia nine women an hour, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. The disorder is linked to hypertension and affects more than 6 million women a year worldwide. Symptoms include high blood pressure, protein in the urine and sometimes swelling in the hands and face. The disorder affects some 5 percent of pregnancies.

The International Preeclampsia Summit is bringing leading experts in the field of preeclampsia together with numerous representatives from global health organizations. The meeting's focus is on identifying and prioritizing appropriate ways to intervene and reduce maternal illness and death due to preeclampsia.

"The Magee-Womens Research Institute and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine are solid partners in addressing preeclampsia, one of the top five causes of maternal mortality," said Anne Garrett, executive director of the Preeclampsia Foundation. "It is critical for organizations to align in addressing this condition as more than 200 women a day die from

Contact: Michele Baum
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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