Tommy's PregnancyHub

Pre-eclampsia statistics

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects some pregnant women, usually during the second half of pregnancy (from around 20 weeks) or soon after their baby is delivered.

Find more information and support about pre-eclampsia.

  • Pre-eclampsia affects up to 6% of pregnancies in the UK. 

  • Severe pre-eclampsia develops in around 1-2% of UK pregnancies.

  • 8-10% of all preterm births result from hypertensive disorders, including pre-eclampsia. 
  • 1 in 6 women who have had pre-eclampsia will have it again in a future pregnancy.

What are the symptoms?

Early signs of pre-eclampsia include high blood pressure and having protein in the urine. Further symptoms may include swelling of the feet, ankles, face and hands, severe headache, vision problems and pain just below the ribs.

What causes pre-eclampsia?

The exact cause of pre-eclampsia is not known and more research needs to be done into the condition. However, it’s thought that there is a link between pre-eclampsia and problems with the placenta.

What is the cure for pre-eclampsia?

There is currently no cure for pre-eclampsia. Delivering the baby is the only ‘cure,’ which is why it is a major cause of preterm birth.

Media requests about pre-eclampsia

Our clinicians, scientists and researchers are available to speak about pre-eclampsia for press and media. If you are interested in speaking to a clinician, contact Tommy's press office on 0207 398 3436 or email [email protected] 

1. NHS Choices [accessed 14/12/2018] Pre-eclampsia overview,

2. WHO (2011) Prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia 2011, World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland,

3. NHS Choices [accessed 14/012/2018] Pre-eclampsia overview,

4. NICE (2010) Hypertension in pregnancy: diagnosis and management 2010, NICE clinical guideline CG107, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, London, England,

5. RCOG (2012) Pre-eclampsia patient leaflet 2012, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, England,