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March 1965

Psychophysiologic Factors in the Etiology of Preeclampsia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York Medical College-Metropolitan Hospital Center. Resident, Hillside Hospital (Dr. Glick); Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Dr. Salerno); and Associate, Department of Psychiatry (Dr. Royce).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(3):260-266. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720330034006

Introduction  DESPITE the relatively great advances made in prenatal care during the past several decades, preeclampsia and the other toxemias of pregnancy remain a serious obstetrical problem. In fact, toxemia is at present one of the three leading causes of fetal and maternal mortality, together with infection and hemorrhage.1This study was designed to add data pertinent to the theory that preeclampsia might be a psychophysiologic illness. Our working hypothesis was that there may exist significant psychologic factors in patients who develop preeclampsia which contribute to the precipitating or sustaining of this serious complication of pregnancy.In reviewing the literature, the possibility that psychologic factors might play a role in the toxemias of pregnancy has been suggested in the past. For example, after studying toxemia in various parts of the world, Dieckmann stated in 1946 that, "our data seem to indicate that toxemia

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