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Estimating risk factors for development of preeclampsia in teen mothers

  • Maternal-Fetal Medicine
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Our objective was to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for preeclampsia in a contemporary American teen population.


We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of all teenage deliveries (≤18 years old) at one institution over a 4-year-period. All cases of preeclampsia were identified using the National Working Group for Hypertension in Pregnancy diagnostic criteria and compared to normotensive teenage mothers.


Of the 730 included teen deliveries, 65 (8.9 %) women developed preeclampsia and demonstrated a higher prepregnancy body mass index when compared with controls (32.9 ± 8.4 vs. 30.3 ± 6.1 kg/m2, p = 0.002). Maternal obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2, RR 1.6, 95 % CI 1.0–2.8) and gestational weight gain above the Institute of Medicine recommended levels (RR 2.6, 95 % CI 1.5–4.4) were associated with higher risk for development of preeclampsia. When evaluating by severity or onset of disease, excessive weight gain in pregnancy was the strongest risk factor for mild (n = 58) or late onset (n = 54) preeclampsia (RR 2.5, 95 % CI 1.4–3.4).


Maternal obesity and excessive gestational weight gain place the gravid teen at increased risk for preeclampsia. The modifiable nature of these risk factors permits the possibility of intervention and prevention.

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The resources of the BHRC research network are gratefully acknowledged.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Arthur M. Baker.

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Baker, A.M., Haeri, S. Estimating risk factors for development of preeclampsia in teen mothers. Arch Gynecol Obstet 286, 1093–1096 (2012).

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