World Preeclampsia Day

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World Preeclampsia Day Proclamation

On the occasion of the inaugural World Preeclampsia Day on May 22, we have signed this proclamation to highlight our support of this worldwide initiative to raise awareness of preeclampsia and its global impact on the lives of mothers, babies and families.

We join together to bring to light the relatively high prevalence and devastating impact of preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP). HDP are not rare complications of pregnancy: indeed, they affect 8-10% of pregnancies worldwide.1 Globally, preeclampsia and other HDP are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death, resulting in 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths every year.2 Preeclampsia is a common factor in preterm delivery and accounts for approximately 20% of all neonatal intensive care admissions3. For the mother, complications of HDP cause illness for an extended period of time and are strongly associated with the future development of a range of debilitating non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and renal impairment.4

The WHO has highlighted that the condition has a highly disproportionate impact on low-to-middle income countries (LMIC)5, where over 99% of preeclampsia cases occur.6 It is estimated that 16% of maternal deaths in LMIC are the result of HDP.7 It is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the Americas6 accounting for a quarter of all maternal deaths in Latin America and a tenth of maternal deaths in Africa and Asia.5

Too many lives are taken or seriously affected by these disorders, underscoring the importance of symptom recognition and timely and effective response by trained healthcare workers. This is especially true in countries where access to care is reduced.8 With no known cause, preventative or effective treatment, the need for basic and clinical research to advance our medical understanding and healthcare practices must be prioritized.

We support all efforts that:

  • Call upon governments and health systems to recognize the importance of preventing and treating these disorders;
  • Encourage additional research funding into preeclampsia and related disorders;
  • Prioritize patient and community education and treatment for these disorders;
  • Prioritize education, training, and access to medical resources for healthcare providers;
  • Address prevention through a better understanding of the causes and through access to appropriate, safe, and effective treatments;
  • Encourage collaboration and partnerships between public and private sector organizations to support and advance these goals.

Working individually and in partnership, we must continue to shine a strong light on preeclampsia and related disorders to ensure that they are minimized and their tragic impact reduced.

The opportunity to reduce the prevalence of these disorders and their impact on women, infants, families, and communities worldwide is within our grasp.




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Footnotes for the proclamation

  1. Ye, C., Ruan, Y., Zou, L., Li, G., Li, C., Chen, Y., … Zhang, W. (2014). The 2011 Survey on Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy (HDP) in China: Prevalence, Risk Factors, Complications, Pregnancy and Perinatal Outcomes. PLoS ONE, 9(6), e100180.
  2. Salam R. A., Das, J. K., Ali, A., Bhuamik, S., and Lassi, Z.S. (2015). Diagnosis and management of preeclampsia in community settings in low and middle-income countries. Journal of Family Med Prim Care, 4(4), 501–506.
  3. Habli M, Levine RJ, Qian C, Sibai B. Neonatal outcomes in pregnancies with preeclampsia or gestational hypertension and in normotensive pregnancies that delivered at 35, 36, or 37 weeks of gestation. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Oct;197(4):406.e1-7. PubMed PMID: 17904980.
  4. Mongraw-Chaffin ML, Cirillo PM, Cohn BA. Preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease death: prospective evidence from the child health and development studies cohort. Hypertension 2010;56: 166–71.
  5. WHO recommendations for Prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. (2011). World Health Organisation.
  6. von Dadelszen, P., Firoz, T., Donnay, F., Gordon, R., Hofmeyr, J., Lalani, S., Payne, B.A., Roberts, J.M, Teela, K.C., Vidler, M., Sawchuck, D. and Magee, L. (2012). Preeclampsia in Low and Middle Income Countries, Health Services Lessons Learned From the PRE-EMPT (PRE-Eclampsia–Eclampsia Monitoring, Prevention & Treatment) Project. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 34(10), 917–926.
  7. Firoz, T., Sanghiv, H., Merialdi, Marlo., von Dadelszen, P. (2011). Pre-eclampsia in low and middle income countries. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 25, 537–548.
  8. Filippi, V., Ronsmans, C., Campbell, O. M. R., Graham, W. J., Mills, A., Borghi, J., Koblinsky, M., Osrin, D. (2006). Maternal health in poor countries: the broader context and a call for action. Maternal Survival, 5.


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