Women's health findings presented at national conference

The clinical and basic science research findings of more than a dozen studies are being presented by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh-affiliated Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) at the 53rd annual meeting of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation. In addition, a major conference debate on the essence of preeclampsia will feature James Roberts, M.D., MWRI director. Scientific sessions will take place March 22 to 25 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

An internationally known authority, Dr. Roberts will argue that preeclampsia is a maternal disease. Christopher Redman, M.D., of the University of Oxford, England, will take a contrary position, arguing that preeclampsia is a fetal disease.

"It's a way to present the state-of-the-art in preeclampsia research," said Dr. Roberts, professor and vice chairman of research in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "But the impact goes beyond pregnancy because the risks for preeclampsia are the same as those for cardiovascular disease later in life."

Some 5 percent of first pregnancies are complicated by preeclampsia, a condition characterized by soaring blood pressure and protein in the urine, that is a leading cause of maternal, fetal and neonatal disability and death, particularly in undeveloped countries and among underserved populations.

The preeclampsia debate is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Thursday, March 23.

Among other findings being presented are:

Heart disease biomarker remains elevated even 30 years after eclamptic pregnancy

C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, remains elevated even 30 years after a pregnancy distinguished by eclampsia, according to a study from MWRI. A life-threatening complication of pregnancy, eclampsia occasionally succeeds preeclampsia and can involve coma, convul


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