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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1986;65(4):307-14.

Eclampsia in Sweden, 1976-1980.


Among 480,969 births in Sweden during the period 1976 to 1980, 74 parturients with eclampsia were identified. The clinical characteristics of women developing eclampsia before 37 completed weeks of gestation differed markedly from those with eclampsia at term. In the pre-term group, subjective symptoms nearly always preceded the eclamptic attack, the newborns were generally small-for-gestational-age, the perinatal mortality was high, and the mothers more frequently had complications related to eclampsia. The only maternal death occurred in this group. In the term group the first convulsion often came unexpectedly without typical premonitory signs. The infants were with few exceptions within the average for gestational age. The general outcome for mothers and their babies was favorable and the length of hospital stay was on average 3 days longer than that of the overall obstetric population. Eclampsia cases in Sweden represent a small subfraction of parturients with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. The incidence (29/100,000) in our material is, to our knowledge, the lowest yet reported. Despite the very regular attendance at the antenatal clinic, weekly from 36 weeks onwards, fewer than half of the patients had hypertension diagnosed 4 days or more prior to the eclamptic convulsion. A shortening of the intervals between the antenatal visits therefore does not seem warranted.

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