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June 2017

Early Identification of Pregnant Women at Risk for Preeclampsia: USPSTF Recommendations on Screening for Preeclampsia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Cardiology, University of Arizona, Phoenix
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(6):593-595. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.1276

Preeclampsia is a serious condition for a pregnant woman and fetus, occurring in 3.8% of pregnancies, and preeclampsia and eclampsia account for 9% of maternal deaths in the United States.1 Preeclampsia is associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, placental abruption, and perinatal mortality and is twice as likely to occur in the first pregnancy.1,2 The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released a recommendation3 to screen all pregnant women for preeclampsia by measuring blood pressure at every prenatal visit. Although this recommendation is unchanged from its earlier report in 1996,4 the definition of preeclampsia has changed over time.5 The incidence of preeclampsia has also increased over time,6 and it is estimated to complicate 3.8% of births in the United States.1 Preeclampsia disproportionately affects African American women and is the leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. In addition, preeclampsia has been shown to be a marker of premature cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease and increases the risk of diabetes, chronic hypertension, and chronic kidney disease.7,8

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