This Pregnancy-Related Condition Kills Half A Million Babies, But Isn’t Getting Much Funding

pregnant woman

Preeclampsia, the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S., is on the rise with a 63 percent increase in cases since 1980, a new study suggests. Researchers found that the condition, characterized by dangerously high blood pressure during pregnancy, costs the healthcare system roughly $2.18 billion. And, from an epidemiological perspective, preeclampsia is growing at a rate more rapid than diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s—all conditions that receive significantly more funding for research and treatment.

“There have been some recent, high-level profiles of the burden of maternal morbidity,” coauthor on the study Dr. Anupam B. Jena of Harvard Medical School told Fatherly. “It occurred to us that there wasn’t a lot out there epidemiologically about the disease burden or the cost burden.”

But quantifying the cost burden of preeclampsia proved challenging, Jena says, because most public health organizations only track the number of cases—not the cost. In an attempt to collect robust data, Jena and her colleagues pieced together information from five different national datasets. The combined statistics included…

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