NICHD Preeclampsia and Eclampsia Research Goals

Advances in understanding preeclampsia and eclampsia and the complications they cause contribute directly to NICHD’s mission.

Complications of preeclampsia, such as kidney failure, hemorrhage, and stroke, can lead to lasting health problems. Worldwide, preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal death. NICHD aims to maintain a global perspective while pursuing a better understanding of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy to prevent the poor health outcomes and deaths caused by this condition.

NICHD research addresses:

  • Factors that influence the growth of blood vessels in pregnancy
  • Mechanisms and functions of the placenta and any problems with the placenta
  • Genetic factors affecting blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Proteins and other elements in the blood that may signal the onset of preeclampsia
  • The role of factors such as obesity and genetics in the development of preeclampsia
  • Characteristics and factors that cause or contribute to the progression of preeclampsia to eclampsia
  • Preventive measures
  • Long-term effects of preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP syndrome on the mother’s health and on the health of the infant
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