Recent research published in the EPMA Journal last month stated that preeclampsia, which is one of the deadliest pregnancy conditions, can be predicted through the integration of a suboptimal health status evaluation.

The study that was conducted by a group of researchers from Edith Cowan University in Perth Western, Australia, suggested that a Suboptimal Health Questionnaire ⁠— which assesses heart health, immunity, digestion, mental health and fatigue levels of an expecting mother ⁠— and blood test can strongly predict preeclampsia. The Suboptimal Health Questionnaire was developed by Professor Wei Wang from the School of Health and Medical Sciences at ECU in 2009.

Preeclampsia or pregnancy-related hypertension is one of the leading causes for the maternal-fetal mortality in several parts of the world, especially in developing countries. Nearly half a million babies and 76,000 women die due to this deadly pregnancy condition every year, the research team noted.

Prediction of preeclampsia can save many lives through preventive and personalized medical care as it can be used as a "risk stratification tool for adverse pregnancy outcomes," the research stated.

"In Ghana, [preeclampsia is] responsible for 18 percent of maternal deaths. But it can be treated using medication that lowers blood pressure once diagnosed,” co-author Enoch Anto.

For the study, the research team analyzed the health status of 593 expecting Ghanaian mothers. The overall health scores of each of the participants in the Suboptimal Health Questionnaire indicated that 61 percent who scored high of the participants went on to develop preeclampsia, compared with 7 percent of women who scored low.

Then the research team combined the results with the women's blood test, which measured magnesium and calcium levels. The report helped the researchers to predict preeclampsia in 80 percent of the women.

"Both blood tests for magnesium and calcium and the Suboptimal Health Questionnaire are inexpensive, making this ideally suited to the developing world where preeclampsia causes the most suffering," Anto said.

Hypertension High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy Can Lead To Kidney Failure Photo: Pixabay/rawpixel