The exact number of women who develop preeclampsia is not known. Some scientists and health care providers estimate that preeclampsia affects 5% to 10% of all pregnancies globally. The rates are lower in the United States (about 3% to 5% of women), but it is estimated to account for 40% to 60% of maternal deaths in developing countries.1 Disorders related to high blood pressure are the second leading cause of stillbirths and early neonatal deaths in developing nations.2
In addition, HELLP syndrome occurs in about 10% to 20% of all women with severe preeclampsia or eclampsia.3
Preeclampsia occurs primarily in first pregnancies. Other factors that can increase a woman's risk include4:
According to the World Health Organization, among women who have had preeclampsia, about 20% to 40% of their daughters and 11% to 37% of their sisters also will get the disorder.5
Preeclampsia is more common among women who have histories of certain health conditions, such as migraine headaches6, diabetes7 , rheumatoid arthritis8, lupus9, scleroderma10, urinary tract infection11, gum disease12, polycystic ovary syndrome13, multiple sclerosis, gestational diabetes, and sickle cell disease.14
Preeclampsia is also more common in pregnancies resulting from egg donation, donor insemination, or in vitro fertilization.
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