Pregnant women with hypertension who also have elevated blood uric acid levels may face an increased risk of complications that could be fatal for mother and baby, University of Pittsburgh researchers have found.
Reporting in the Oct. 27 online issue of Hypertension, a journal published by the American Heart Association, researchers note that the greatest risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy accompanies preeclampsia, a devastating disorder that affects some 5 percent of first pregnancies and is traditionally diagnosed by increased blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. The only effective treatment is immediate delivery, which, if too early, can pose risks to the fetus.
In developed countries where prenatal care is routine, preeclampsia accounts for about 15 percent of premature deliveries a year. Worldwide, in settings without good prenatal care, preeclampsia increases the risk of fetal death five-fold and kills 50,000 women a year, researchers said. For clinicians, treating preeclampsia is a delicate balance of fetal and maternal risk from the disease and fetal development-associated risk because of premature delivery.
Analysis of the data revealed that the women with both preeclampsia and elevated uric acid levels had a nearly seven-fold increased risk of premature delivery and delivered nearly four weeks earlier than preeclamptic women whose uric acid levels were normal. Most of these deliveries were induced to prevent more severe maternal illness and infants tended to be smaller at birth, even adjusted for gestational age, Dr. Roberts said.
One of the more interesting findings was that for women with high blood pressure and no protein in their urine but who did have increased uric acid, the risk of early delivery or reduced fetal growth was at least as likely as in women with classic signs of preeclampsia but normal uric acid. Also, women with high blood pressure who lacked urine protein and had normal uric acid had no increased risk for babies.
"Irrespective of protein levels, women with high blood pressure had a higher incidence of being delivered early as uric acid increased," said Dr. Roberts, who also is director of the university-affiliated Magee-Womens Research Institute. "For every one-unit increase in uric acid, the odds of preterm birth increased 2.3 times."
While results of the National Institutes of Health-funded study seem to suggest that uric acid measures could have a utility for predicting risk of adverse outcomes, further prospective testing is necessary to confirm the findings and determine cost-effectiveness of its use to improve outcomes, Dr. Roberts said.
In addition to Dr. Roberts, other authors are Lisa M. Bodnar, R.D., Ph.D., Kristine Yoder Lain, M.D., M.P.H., Carl A. Hubel, Ph.D., Nina Markovic, Ph.D., Roberta B. Ness, M.D., M.P.H., and Robert W. Powers, Ph.D., all of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Michele D. Baum | EurekAlert!
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences