According to new research data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers discovered that preeclampsia could be indeed a key factor that leads to the development of critical heart flaws. This new study proves preeclampsia leads to congenital heart defects, and the numbers are quite alarming.
A representative from the University of Montreal, Nathalie Auger, M.D, spearheading the research endeavor, analyzed and cross-referenced records from over 1,900,000 cases of infants born in Québec between 1989 and 2012.
According to the statistics, researchers have found out that infants that we’re born to mothers that exhibited the specific symptoms of preeclampsia, had a higher risk of critical heart defects. Numbers place the risk at about 0.1 percent among infants born to mother with preeclampsia and 0.07 percent to infants born to mother which never exhibited such symptoms.
Preeclampsia is a common illness associated with pregnancy and it affects roughly 7 percent of female population around the globe. Basically, preeclampsia occurs when there are sudden spikes in the patient blood pressure. The symptoms associated with preeclampsia are cephalalgia (violent headaches), blurry vision, swelling of both palms and face, weight gain, sharp pain in the lower-right abdomen and infrequent urination.
However, researchers also discovered that the risks appeared to be contained to a number of female patients who developed preeclampsia in the 34th week of pregnancy. Although, the risk is contained in this time frame, researchers showed that the infant could develop mild forms of heart defects, regardless of when preeclampsia arouse during pregnancy.
Statistics show that about 1.5 percent of infants born to mother who had preeclampsia during their final semester of pregnancy didn’t show any sign of a congenital heart defect. Only a small percentage of about .8 percent of the infants exhibited such signs.
During an interview where doctor Auger was asked about the methods of preventing preeclampsia, she stressed out that clinicians should be made aware of the effects of folic acid in preventing the onset of preeclampsia. Also, Auger said that these results should not be taken by young mothers or physicians as solid proof that their children will inherit such an illness.
In the same interview, Auger said that the study only proves that there is a link between the onset of preeclampsia and the development of congenital heart defects, as to have a similar underlying pathology.
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