Dr. Garrett Lam describes preeclampsia and recounts why some women are more susceptible to this condition. Dr. Lam serves as Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Well preeclampsia is a disease seen only in pregnancy and it’s marked quite simply by elevated blood pressures with the systolic blood pressure, the top number, of at least 140 or greater and/or the bottom number, or diastolic blood pressure go greater than/equal to 90.
In addition, a woman should have her urine tested and if she’s losing greater than 300 mg of protein in a 24-hour urine sample that is also considered a diagnostic mark of preeclampsia.
The disease itself affects about 3 to 14% of women worldwide; about 5 to 8% of women here in the U.S. It is unfortunately the number one reason for maternal death in the world and primarily because when preeclampsia strikes women in third world countries, they don’t have access to good medical care.
Luckily, here in the United States it’s a lot different story. With preeclamptics, about 75% in the United States have preeclampsia that makes a doctor worry or makes us sweat, and about 25% is the type that’s severe enough that makes everybody worried. About two percent of women with preeclampsia will have what’s called eclampsia or seize, and about one percent of women in the United States will unfortunately pass away from the disease.
Preeclampsia is a disease that actually can strike almost anybody, any woman. However, we do see some predilection amongst certain groups of women to have preeclampsia, and what I mean by that is that women who are most likely to have preeclampsia could be women who are very young when they get pregnant, so in their teens, or on the older side of their fertility, so what we called advanced maternal age, women who are greater than 35.
Women who are obese, or have pre-existing diseases such as hypertension or diabetes or kidney disease are also more likely to get preeclampsia. Women who have multiple gestations, so twins and triplets and so forth are also more likely to get preeclampsia and women of certain ethnicities such as African-American women, Latinas, and native American women are more likely to get the disease as well.
About Dr. Garrett K. Lam, M.D.:
Dr. Garrett K. Lam is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine. He received his MD from the University of Rochester, completed his residency training at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, then went to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for his fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine.
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Condition: Pregnancy, High-Risk Pregnancy, Preeclampsia
Related Terms: Cesarean Section, C-Section, Vaginal Birth, Elective C-Section, Emergency C-Section, Labor, HELLP Syndrome, Intrauterine Growth Restriction, Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension
Health Care Provider: Banner Hospital, Banner Medical Center, Banner Health, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Banner Good Samaritan Hospital, Banner Good Sam
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, AZ, 85006, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Maricopa County, Phoenix Metropolitan Area
Expert: Dr. Garrett K. Lam, Garrett Lam, M.D., Doctor Garrett Lam, Obstetrician Dr. Garrett Lam, Dr. Garrett Lam, OB/GYN
Expertise: High-Risk Pregnancy, Cesarean Section, C-Section, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Perinatal Care, Birthing Services, Fetal Assessment, Fetal Therapy, Fetal Intervention, Premature Babies