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East Afr Med J. 1996 Jun;73(6):404-6.

Epidemiologic aspects of pre-eclampsia in Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.


Pre-eclampsia is pregnancy induced hypertension of unknown aetiology. There is a paucity of maternal data on the disease from this region and this study was undertaken to identify maternal and possible aetiologic factors associated with the disease in the north western region of Saudi Arabia. Seven hundred and five consecutive maternities which delivered from October 1990 till January 1991 at the Armed Forces Hospital were analysed. 2.8% of women in this community study developed pre-eclampsia. Women at extremes of maternal age, the nulliparous and high parity women; women with high body mass index, blood group O and those with no antenatal care or late booking in this study were at greater risk of developing pre-eclampsia when compared with controls who delivered in the same period. Of the babies born to mothers with pre-eclampsia, 46.7% were of low birthweight (< 2500g) while only 10.4% of controls were low birthweight. It is concluded that mothers with pre-eclampsia have to be identified early. Potential modifiable factors include reducing pregnancies at extremes of maternal age, among high parity women and encouraging early booking as well as regular attendance at the antenatal clinic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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