What Really Causes Preeclampsia?

Researchers behind a new study are suggesting a name change for the condition known as preeclampsia. Here's why:

The condition, which affects pregnant women and can be deadly, may actually be caused by the fetus and not the placenta, according to an editorial in the journal Anaesthesia cited in Science Daily.

The co-author of the piece, associate professor Alicia Dennis, who is consultant anaesthetist and director of anaesthesia research at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, says the condition may be a result of problems getting adequate oxygen to the developing fetus. So she suggests changing the name of the condition to hypertension caused by pregnancy might help women better understand it, and get the info they need to manage it.

Dennis and her co-author, Julian Castro, consultant cardiologist at St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, suggest that pregnancy proceeds without incident when a mom-to-be can maintain a continued flow of oxygen to meet the needs of the fetus as it grows and changes. And when she can't, that's when the problems occur.

"Referring to it as hypertension caused by pregnancy, rather than the historically out-dated name of preeclampsia, would mean that women worldwide could be better informed and counseled about the condition," she wrote, as cited in Science Day.

What do you think: Does this description of preeclampsia help you make sense of what causes it?Related:Are You at Risk of Preeclampsia?

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