New, Low-cost Method can Predict Deadly Pregnancy Disorder

by Iswarya on  October 23, 2019 at 1:02 PM Women Health News
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Simple, low-cost method can predict the onset of a pregnancy disorder called preeclampsia, a condition that causes premature birth, and brain and liver injury in mothers, killing approximately half a million babies each year, worldwide.The findings of the study are published in the EPMA Journal.
New, Low-cost Method can Predict Deadly Pregnancy Disorder
New, Low-cost Method can Predict Deadly Pregnancy Disorder

"In developing nations, preeclampsia is a leading cause of death for both mothers and babies. In Ghana, it's responsible for 18 percent of maternal deaths," said Enoch Anto, the study researcher from Edith Cowan University in Australia.

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"But it can be treated using medication that lowers blood pressure once diagnosed," Anto added.

For the study published in the EPMA Journal, researchers assessed the health status of over 500 pregnant Ghanaian women using the Suboptimal Health Questionnaire. Combining scores for fatigue, heart health, digestion, immunity, and mental health, the questionnaire provides an overall "suboptimal health score" that can help predict chronic diseases.

The researchers found that 61 percent of women who scored high on the questionnaire went on to develop preeclampsia, compared with just 17 percent of women who scored low.

When these results were combined with blood tests that measured women's calcium and magnesium levels, the researchers were able to accurately predict the development of preeclampsia in almost 80 percent of cases.

According to the researchers, preeclampsia was very treatable once identified, so providing an early warning could save thousands of lives.

"Both blood tests for magnesium and calcium and the Suboptimal Health Questionnaire are inexpensive, making this ideally suited to the developing world where preeclampsia causes the most suffering," Anto said.

Source: IANS

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