Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Background: Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality world-wide. The risk for developing preeclampsia varies depending on the underlying mechanism. Because the disorder is heterogeneous, the pathogenesis can differ in women with various risk factors. Understanding these mechanisms of disease responsible for preeclampsia as well as risk assessment is still a major challenge. The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors associated with preeclampsia, in healthy women in maternity hospitals of Karachi and Rawalpindi. Methods: We conducted a hospital based matched case-control study to assess the factors associated with preeclampsia in Karachi and Rawalpindi, from January 2006 to December 2007. 131 hospital-reported cases of PE and 262 controls without history of preeclampsia were enrolled within 3 days of delivery. Cases and controls were matched on the hospital, day of delivery and parity. Potential risk factors for preeclampsia were ascertained during in-person postpartum interviews using a structured questionnaire and by medical record abstraction. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate matched odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Results: In multivariate analysis, women having a family history of hypertension (adjusted OR 2.06, 95% CI, 1.27-3.35), gestational diabetes (adjusted OR 6.57, 95% CI, 1.94 -22.25), pre-gestational diabetes (adjusted OR 7.36, 95% CI, 1.37-33.66) and mental stress during pregnancy (adjusted OR 1.32, 95% CI, 1.19-1.46, for each 5 unit increase in Perceived stress scale score) were at increased risk of preeclampsia. However, high body mass index, maternal age, urinary tract infection, use of condoms prior to index pregnancy and sociodemographic factors were not associated with higher risk of having preeclampsia. Conclusions: Development of preeclampsia was associated with gestational diabetes, pregestational diabetes, family history of hypertension and mental stress during pregnancy. These factors can be used as a screening tool for preeclampsia prediction. Identification of the above mentioned predictors would enhance the ability to diagnose and monitor women likely to develop preeclampsia before the onset of disease for timely interventions and better maternal and fetal outcomes.


BMC Women'S Health