February 2018

Knowing your risk is the first step in protecting your heart
You may already know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and appears to be increasing in women aged 35 to 54 years.

What you may not know is that women who have had preeclampsia have three to four times the risk of high blood pressure and double the risk for heart disease and stroke. They also have an increased risk of developing diabetes. 

For women who had preeclampsia and delivered preterm, had low-birthweight babies, or suffered from severe preeclampsia more than once, the risk of heart disease can be even higher.

While still unknown whether the risk is caused by preeclampsia or if the woman was already predisposed, these risks first emerge in the years following a complicated pregnancy. Although this may seem daunting, ample research shows that there are many ways for women to protect their heart health and that of their families despite their higher risk.

This research does not mean you will definitely develop heart problems if you had preeclampsia, but for some women pregnancy can serve as an early warning sign for future heart disease. This kind of "heads up" gives you an opportunity to make changes now for a healthier tomorrow - and reap the benefits today, too!

Vision Grants research funding available for preeclampsia and related pregnancy disorders

We're pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for our 2018 Vision Grants program. 

The Preeclampsia Foundation will award up to two medical research Vision Grants to study preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, up to $20,000 USD each. The Foundation's Canadian affiliate, Preeclampsia Foundation Canada, will also award one Vision Grant up to $20,000 CAD, to a Canadian researcher. 

Vision Grants are intended to provide initial funding for novel, innovative research by promising young investigators that will advance progress towards detection, prevention, or treatment of preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Post-doctoral, Clinical Fellows, or Early Stage Investigators only are eligible to apply.  Projects with potential to alter clinical management and improve patient outcomes will receive priority, but any well-considered research proposal will be accepted for review. International applications are welcome; however, submissions must be in English.

The application deadline is May 11, 2018, with award notification in August 2018. Instructions to apply can be found here.
Give yourself a hug and walk for a cure!
Katie Bearden was an active mom with an uneventful pregnancy until HELLP syndrome took her by surprise. It took six months for her to feel normal. She struggled with postpartum depression and stress from a traumatic delivery and found that participating in her local
Promise Walk for Preeclampsia helped her heal. 

Join Katie and the thousands of other preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome fighters and survivors as they walk for a cure. 

Register for a Promise Walk for Preeclampsia and raise $100 by February 14 and receive a FREE event T-shirt! With 37 events across the country, find a location near you at promisewalk.org by typing your state in the Find a Walk search box. We hope you can join us!
Utah study highlights need for more detailed preeclampsia patient education
At the Preeclampsia Foundation, we strongly advocate that expectant parents are fully informed of the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia so they recognize and respond appropriately to them. An educated patient can sometimes make the difference between life and death so we strive to make women more knowledgeable and confident to trust their bodies. 

We're always seeking validation, or evidence, that our education programs and tools yield results -that they're easily understood, retained, and acted upon by patients.

Despite the  clear benefits of patient education in improving health outcomes, it's unclear how often healthcare providers discuss preeclampsia with their patients and how much of this information is understood.  A recent  study  exploring preeclampsia awareness and prenatal education on the topic among mothers in Utah found a need for improved prenatal education regarding preeclampsia.