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Preeclampsia, Intrauterine Growth Restriction Unrelated

Preeclampsia and gestational hypertension share risk factors unrelated to intrauterine growth restriction

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Preeclampsia shares many risk factors with gestational hypertension, but appears to be unrelated to unexplained intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jose Villar, M.D., of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, and colleagues analyzed data from the WHO Antenatal Care Trial on 39,615 pregnancies, of which 2.2 percent were complicated by preeclampsia, 7.0 percent by gestational hypertension and 8.1 percent by unexplained IUGR.

The risk of gestational hypertension was raised by previous large-for-age birth, reproductive tract surgery, antepartum hemorrhage and reproductive tract infection. The risk of both gestational hypertension and preeclampsia was raised by diabetes, renal or cardiac disease, previous preeclampsia, urinary tract infection, high maternal age, twin pregnancy and obesity.

Both hypertensive conditions were associated with increased risk of fetal death and severe neonatal morbidity and mortality. While unexplained IUGR was associated with higher risk of low birth weight in previous pregnancies, it was not associated with previous preeclampsia.

"We found similarities between preeclampsia and gestational hypertension but our results suggest that unexplained IUGR (e.g., those not associated with smoking, undernutrition, secondary to hypertensive conditions, or congenital malformations) is a different entity from preeclampsia," the authors concluded.

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