Tuesday January 28, 2020

Preeclampsia Test can Quickly Identify Dangerous Condition During Pregnancy

Researchers at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center have developed a fast, easy test to diagnose preeclampsia

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A new test can quickly identify a common and dangerous condition during pregnancy and help keep mothers and babies healthy and safe. VOA

A new test can quickly identify preeclampsia, a common and dangerous condition during pregnancy and help keep mothers and babies healthy and safe.

When Jessi Prizinsky was pregnant with her first child, her feet started swelling.

“Well, you hear, everybody tell you, you know, the swollen ankles, and get your feet up and all that,” Prizinsky said. “That was where I thought, ‘OK.’ And then it started to be, it kind of looks like it’s in my arms and hands, too.”

Most women expect some swelling when they are pregnant. But these symptoms can also be signs of preeclampsia.

It’s a complication of pregnancy that raises the mother’s blood pressure and affects the blood flow to the placenta. This can lead to smaller or premature babies. Untreated, it can be fatal to mom, or baby, or both.

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Most women expect some swelling when they are pregnant. But these symptoms can also be signs of preeclampsia. Pixabay

Fast, easy test developed

Researchers at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center have developed a fast, easy test to diagnose preeclampsia. That’s where Dr. Kara Rood practices maternal and fetal medicine.

“One of the hard parts with preeclampsia is there’s a lot of symptoms of just pregnancy alone, and other medical conditions that have similar symptoms that the women experience, like high blood pressure, headaches, changes in vision. Those can be attributed to a lot of other things,” Rood said.

Preeclampsia is more serious if it occurs earlier in the pregnancy, or in a woman who had high blood pressure before getting pregnant.

Rood says managing this condition early is best for both mothers and babies.

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Researchers at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center have developed a fast, easy test to diagnose preeclampsia. That’s where Dr. Kara Rood practices maternal and fetal medicine. Pixabay

“Without the certainty of this test aiding in the diagnosis,” she said, “we as providers are definitely overcautious, as this is definitely something we don’t want to miss because of the life-threatening results of a misdiagnosis for moms and babies.”

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Listen to your body

Because of her preeclampsia, Prizinsky was induced three weeks early. She had a successful second pregnancy and has this advice for other women.

“The biggest thing is listening to your body,” she said.

The test is so easy, women can take it at home, and preeclampsia can be treated as soon as it develops. The researchers expect the test to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the next few years. (VOA)

Next Story

Here’s how Low-Dose Aspirin may Help Mothers Lower the Risk of Preterm Birth

Low-dose of aspirin regularly can help mothers lower the risk of preterm delivery

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Low-dose aspirin therapy in early pregnancy could provide an inexpensive way to lower the preterm birth rate in first-time mothers. Pixabay

Daily low-dose aspirin, from as early as the sixth week of pregnancy through the 36th week, may lower the risk of preterm birth among first-time mothers, suggest the results of a clinical trial which involved women from several low and middle-income countries, including India.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet, involved more than 11,000 women. The results showed that women taking daily low-dose aspirin were 11 per cent less likely to deliver before the 37th week of pregnancy, compared to those given a placebo.

“Our results suggest that low-dose aspirin therapy in early pregnancy could provide an inexpensive way to lower the preterm birth rate in first-time mothers,” said study author Marion Koso-Thomas of the US National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Preterm birth is the most common cause of infant death and the leading cause of long-term neurological disability in children.

According to the study authors, advances in newborn care have improved survival for preterm infants, but this care is limited or unavailable in many parts of the world.

Earlier studies have suggested that low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening blood pressure disorder of pregnancy.

Aspirin pregnancy
Earlier studies have suggested that low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening blood pressure disorder of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, these studies were not large enough to statistically determine the therapy’s effectiveness in reducing preterm birth. The researchers enrolled 11,976 women with a first-time pregnancy from seven sites in India, Pakistan, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala and Kenya.

Roughly half were assigned at random to receive 81 milligrams of aspirin daily; the other group received a daily placebo. Women were included in the study only if they maintained a pregnancy for more than 20 weeks.

Preterm birth (before 37 weeks) occurred in 11.6 per cent of the women who took aspirin and in 13.1 per cent of the women who took the placebo. Similarly, birth before 34 weeks (early preterm delivery) occurred in 3.3 per cent of the aspirin group and 4 per cent of the placebo group (a 25 per cent reduction).

Women in the aspirin group also had a lower rate of perinatal mortality (stillbirth or newborn death in the first seven days of life), compared to the placebo group (45.7 per 1,000 births vs 53.6 per 1,000 births).

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The risk of high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy at term did not differ significantly between the groups. The low cost and safety of low-dose aspirin therapy suggests that it could be easily adapted for wide-scale use, suggested the study authors. (IANS)