Preeclampsia Link to End-Stage Renal Disease Studied

Despite low absolute risk, history of preeclampsia is a marker for increased risk of subsequent ESRD

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Women with preeclampsia have a low absolute risk of developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but preeclampsia in a first pregnancy predicts an increased risk of ESRD during subsequent pregnancies, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

In their study, Bjorn Egil Vikse, M.D., Ph.D., of Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, and colleagues linked data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway and the Norwegian Renal Registry.

The researchers found that the overall rate of ESRD was 3.7 per 100,000 women per year. But they found that the risk of ESRD among women who developed preeclampsia during a first pregnancy increased among those who had been pregnant one or more times or two or more times (relative risks, 4.7 and 3.2, respectively). The risk of ESRD was highest among women who either developed preeclampsia during a second pregnancy, both pregnancies, or two or three pregnancies (relative risks, 6.7, 6.4 and 15.5, respectively), the authors note.

"The good news is that the absolute risk was quite low," state the authors of an accompanying editorial. "Indeed, the likelihood that chronic renal failure did not develop, even among women with three previous episodes of preeclampsia, was greater than 99 percent. Nevertheless, the accumulation of data, including those from Vikse et al., suggests that a history of preeclampsia may provide a glimpse into the future, with attendant opportunities for reducing the risks of later disease."

The author of the editorial reports a financial relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

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