Women with preeclampsia more prone to kidney failure

September 4, 2019

Women who develop a form of high blood pressure during pregnancy, also known as preeclampsia, are greatly predisposed to end-stage kidney disease later in life compared to women without, according to a new Swedish study. It is similar to previous research that has suggested that preeclampsia might cause women to suffer advanced kidney disease, heart attacks and strokes more than men.

In the study, from 30 years’ worth of data on some 1.37 million women, 4.9%, developed preeclampsia during at least one pregnancy, and 410 of these women developed end-stage kidney disease; women who had preeclampsia in two pregnancies were more than seven times more likely to develop end-stage kidney disease; and women who developed preeclampsia earlier in pregnancy were more than nine times more likely to develop end-stage kidney disease.

Among the women who developed preeclampsia in their first pregnancy, 20.1% were overweight and 11.8% were obese, but even if some did not develop preeclampsia, 14.2% were noted to be overweight and 4.9% were obese. Women in the study who had preeclampsia were also older on average.

While risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes may contribute to both preeclampsia and kidney failure, Ali Khashan, a public health researcher at University College Cork, Ireland, said that the overall end-stage kidney disease risk is small and assures women with a history of preeclampsia against worrying too much.

“The study accounted for maternal obesity and comorbidities such as diabetes and the reported results are independent of these factors – however, they are still potential mediators between preeclampsia and end stage kidney disease,” Khashan said.

Kidney failure, or end-stage kidney disease, is most commonly caused by diabetes or high blood pressure but can be caused by autoimmune diseases, genetic disorders or chronic urinary tract problems. Most people with kidney failure require dialysis or an organ transplant.


Category: Education, Features

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