(Terri here: My humble opinion on this article- I believe there is a correlation here due to diet. "Maternal poverty and social deprivation" are referenced, but no credence is given to maternal nutrition. I assume that poverty often infers a high-carb (low protein, less fruit and vegetable variety) diet. Please see Dr. Tom Brewer's research on increasing protein levels during pregnancy, and it's effect on lowering occurrence of PIH and Preclampsia at http://blueribbonbaby.org/.)10 Nov 2008
Several factors, such as older age and high weight gain, are known risk factors for pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy-related blood pressure disorders. Now a new report suggests that social factors - including living in a rural county - may also increase the risk of pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), according to research presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"Our study showed an increased risk of developing pre-eclampsia and PIH associated with living in a rural area," comments lead researcher Rebecca Moore, MD, of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado. "The reason for this increased risk is unclear, but may possibly be associated with maternal poverty and social deprivation."
Using birth certificate data on infants born in Colorado from 2000 to 2006, the researchers analyzed risk factors for pre-eclampsia and PIH in more than 362,000 mothers. All of the women were free of chronic medical conditions at delivery. Women with pre-eclampsia develop rapid increases in blood pressure, along with kidney damage. Pre-eclampsia is a very common condition and the third most common cause of maternal death in the United States. The cause is unknown and there is no known cure, although the problem usually resolves after delivery.
The overall rate of PIH/pre-eclampsia was 3.3 %. The study confirmed the known risk factors, including age over 35 years, first pregnancy, multiple gestation (twins or more), and gaining more than 30 pounds during pregnancy. Smoking was associated with a lower risk of pre-eclampsia (but smoking increases the risk of other pregnancy complications).
After adjusting for all of these factors, the researchers identified some intriguing new risk factors for PIH/pre-eclampsia. Women living in rural counties were at increased risk: 56 percent higher than for women in other areas.
There was also a link to education, with a 19 % increase in risk for women who had some college education (compared to a high school education). Although the rate of PIH/pre-eclampsia was also higher for women with more than a college education, the difference was not significant. "These novel risks were independent of other risk factors, including adequacy of prenatal care," Dr. Moore adds.
The new information linking PIH/pre-eclampsia risk to the mother's social characteristics is an important first step to toward identifying new, nontraditional risk factors. "Although traditional risk factors for pre-eclampsia and PIH are well recognized, these diseases remain enigmatic, and there is no known effective way to reduce their incidence," says Dr. Moore. "Nontraditional risk factors may be of great importance in the design of future interventions to prevent the occurrence of PIH and pre-eclampsia, but data regarding these risk factors are scarce."
The data provided in the study were all self-reported, and are therefore subject to bias. Also, the study database did not include information on some potentially important factors, including the women's body weight and income level.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.
The study abstract, "Relationship between Novel Risk Factors and the Development of Pre-Eclampsia and Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension in Women without Pre-Existing Medical Conditions," (SA-FC408) was presented as part of a Free Communications session on the topic of "Clinical Aspects of Hypertension in Kidney Disease" on Saturday, November 8.
ASN is a not-for-profit organization of 11,000 physicians and scientists dedicated to the study of nephrology and committed to providing a forum for the promulgation of information regarding the latest research and clinical findings on kidney disease. ASN Renal Week 2008, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, provided a forum for 11,000 nephrologists to discuss the latest findings in renal research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Renal Week 2008 took place November 4 - November 9 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.
Source: Shari Leventhal
American Society of Nephrology
Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/128712.php