ADVERTISEMENT

Studying The Link Between Increased BMI And Late-Onset Preeclampsia In Pregnant Women

Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are some of the greatest mysteries of human reproduction, as they affect 10% of human pregnancies.  Women are not hypertensive before pregnancy, they are no longer hypertensive after delivery, but toward the end of their gestation (third trimester), they present with harmful high blood pressure.

Some hypertensive states are associated with organ failure: this is known as PREECLAMPSIA. In 3-5% of human pregnancies, HDPs are associated with renal injuries (appearance of a leak of proteins in urine, proteinuria), liver injuries (‚ÄúHELLP syndrome‚ÄĚ), but also possibly brain injuries that cause convulsions (epilepsy, ECLAMPSIA). Worldwide, preeclampsia contributes to some 50,000 maternal deaths during pregnancy and delivery per year, according to the World Health Organization.

ADVERTISEMENT

The main mystery of this ‚Äúcocktail of preeclampsia” is that the only known definitive cure for these troubles is‚Ķ. to interrupt the pregnancy, and then induce the birth of the fetus (even if the fetus is severely premature). In high-income countries, physicians decide to induce birth by cesarean section in pregnancies of 27 or 29 weeks gestation, for example, mainly to save the life of the mother, or if the patient presents signs that she will develop eclampsia (epilepsy, convulsions). This is not the case in poor (‚Äúlow-income‚ÄĚ) countries, where there is no method to manage extreme premature babies born at 26 weeks, for example. But, then, often, women develop brain injuries and epilepsy crises. The WHO evaluates that there are approximately 500 to 600,000 eclampsia cases per year on this planet (in low-income countries mainly).

In our study, ‚ÄúIncreased BMI has a linear association with late-onset preeclampsia,‚ÄĚ we found that, in an insular population of Reunion Island (a French overseas department in the Indian Ocean), with a huge cohort of preeclamptic women (1,700 cases) and 71,000 control women (normotensive), late-onset preeclampsia only, and not early-onset preeclampsia, is associated with a linear increase with overweight, moderately or more severely obese women (who were corpulent at the beginning of their pregnancies).

Preeclampsia is divided into two sorts: the most severe form is ‚Äúearly-onset preeclampsia‚ÄĚ (EOP). The disease appears before the 34th week of gestation (8th month), with important consequences for the newborn (severe prematurity). Late-onset preeclampsia (LOP), by definition, occurs in women at the 34th week and onward (8 months plus). It is much preferable to induce delivery after the 8th month, namely because with modern interventions, 100% of newborns will survive without complications.

The good news is that, by far, late-onset preeclampsia (LOP) is the more common form of preeclampsia, accounting for 90% of preeclamptic cases in high-income countries and 70% in low-income ones. The fact that LOP is specifically associated with maternal corpulence (and not EOP) may then, first, explain the recent debate as to why LOP represents 90% of the disease in high-income countries and not in poor ones. Second, and importantly, this association will focus medical research rather on maternal metabolism (carbohydrate and lipid metabolism) and could, in the short term, propose solutions to lower the epidemiological incidence of preeclampsia.

ADVERTISEMENT

These findings are described in the article entitled Increased BMI has a linear association with late-onset preeclampsia: A population-based study, recently published in the journal PLOS One.

Comments

READ THIS NEXT

Is H2S Polar Or Nonpolar?

H2S is the chemical formula for the compound hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is a covalent compound¬†that is composed out of […]

Scientists Regrow Damaged Heart Tissue Using Stem Cells

Since their discovery in 1981, stem cells have been touted as a kind of panacea for all conditions. The ability […]

The Effects Of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells On Cancer And Cancer Treatments

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are early, immature myeloid cells that are potent inhibitors of the immune system. MDSC levels are […]

How Health Professionals Respond To Online Health Rumors

Given the abundance of information on social media, society‚Äôs challenge lies not in the difficulty of accessing health information but […]

The Flags Of The World

The flags of the world are symbols that represent each country or territory on Earth, from the iconic flag of […]

Your Subjective Age Is More Important Than Your Actual Age, Study Finds

Physical and mental health is a factor of subjective age (the age you feel). As one age naturally, the subjective […]

A Novel 3D Cell Culture Model For The Evaluation Of Anticancer Breast Therapeutics

Conventional breast cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, are known for triggering side effects and, in some types of cancer, for […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?