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BJOG. 2014 Mar;121 Suppl 1:14-24. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12629.

Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes: a secondary analysis of the World Health Organization Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health.

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  • 1Centro Rosarino de Estudios Perinatales, Rosario, Argentina.



To assess the incidence of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and related severe complications, identify other associated factors and compare maternal and perinatal outcomes in women with and without these conditions.


Secondary analysis of the World Health Organization Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health (WHOMCS) database.


Cross-sectional study implemented at 357 health facilities conducting 1000 or more deliveries annually in 29 countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.


All women suffering from any hypertensive disorder during pregnancy, the intrapartum or early postpartum period in the participating hospitals during the study period.


We calculated the proportion of the pre-specified outcomes in the study population and their distribution according to hypertensive disorders' severity. We estimated the association between them and maternal deaths, near-miss cases, and severe maternal complications using a multilevel logit model.


Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Potentially life-threatening conditions among maternal near-miss cases, maternal deaths and cases without severe maternal outcomes.


Overall, 8542 (2.73%) women suffered from hypertensive disorders. Incidences of pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and chronic hypertension were 2.16%, 0.28% and 0.29%, respectively. Maternal near-miss cases were eight times more frequent in women with pre-eclampsia, and increased to up to 60 times more frequent in women with eclampsia, when compared with women without these conditions.


The analysis of this large database provides estimates of the global distribution of the incidence of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. The information on the most frequent complications related to pre-eclampsia and eclampsia could be of interest to inform policies for health systems organisation.

© 2014 RCOG The World Health Organization retains copyright and all other rights in the manuscript of this article as submitted for publication.


Eclampsia; incidence; near miss; pre-eclampsia; risk factors; severe maternal outcomes

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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