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Women's health findings presented at national conference

sions and organ failure. Although intravenous infusion of magnesium sulfate can decrease the likelihood that a woman with preeclampsia will develop eclamptic seizures, the only effective treatment for the syndrome is immediate delivery, which can be dangerous for the baby if it is too early in the pregnancy.

"We found that levels of CRP were doubled in postmenopausal women who had a prior episode of eclampsia compared to those who had a history of normal pregnancies," said Carl Hubel, Ph.D., lead author, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences and environmental and occupational health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and an MWRI assistant investigator. "The finding is even more striking because this difference remained after adjusting for other, potentially confounding risk factors such as age, weight, smoking and use of hormone-replacement therapy."

The finding indicates that pregnancy outcome could be viewed as "a natural early stress test" for future risk of cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death for women. "We propose that prior preeclampsia particularly severe preeclampsia be considered as a red flag to identify women of reproductive age who stand to benefit from cardiovascular risk factor modification," said Dr. Hubel. "If we can identify these differences during a woman's reproductive years and intervene with lifestyle changes early and aggressively, we may be able to impact her future risk. Early screening here is vital."

For the current study, Dr. Hubel and his colleagues compared data available from a previous study on 25 Icelandic women with prior eclampsia and 28 Icelandic women with normal pregnancies. Additional authors include Robert Powers, Ph.D.; Hilary Gammill, M.D.; James Roberts, M.D.; and Roberta Ness, M.D., M.P.H., all of the University of Pittsburgh; and Sunna Snaedal, M.D., Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; and Reynir Arngrimsson, Ph.D., U
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25-Mar-2006


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