Pre-eclampsia is a condition that only affects women during pregnancy, usually in the second half (from around 20 weeks. Worldwide, it is a leading cause of death in both mothers and babies. In the UK, 4-5% of pregnancies are complicated by pre-eclampsia – around 1 in 20 women. Severe cases develop in 1-2% of pregnancies. Early signs include high blood pressure and protein appearing in urine tests.
The causes of pre-eclampsia aren’t fully understood – we think it is related to the placenta not attaching properly to the wall of the womb.
We need research to find out why it happens, so we can work to prevent it. That’s why Tommy’s supports pioneering research into the causes of pre-eclampsia, and the best ways of finding and caring for women at risk.
- The PARROT trial is looking at whether a simple test for placental growth factor can identify women at risk of severe complications from pre-eclampsia
- The CRADLE project is developing an easy, cheap way to measure blood pressure, helping to detect pre-eclampsia anywhere in the world
- The PHOENIX trial is researching the best course of action when pre-eclampsia develops before the baby is due and aims to recruit 900 women by August 2017
- UV light could be used to help lower blood pressure and prevent pre-eclampsia
All pre-eclampsia research
- WHO recommendations for Prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia (accessed January 2017) http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/maternal_perinatal_health/9789241548335/en/
- NHS Choices (accessed January 2016) http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pre-eclampsia/Pages/Introduction.aspx