Epidemiology of preeclampsia: impact of obesity

Nutr Rev. 2013 Oct;71 Suppl 1(0 1):S18-25. doi: 10.1111/nure.12055.


Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disorder that affects 2-8% of all pregnancies and remains a leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Diagnosis is based on new onset of hypertension and proteinuria. Multiple organ systems can be affected, with severe disease resulting. The wide range of risk factors reflects the heterogeneity of preeclampsia. Obesity, which is increasing at an alarming rate, is also a risk factor for preeclampsia as well as for later-life cardiovascular disease. Exploring common features may provide insight into the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying preeclampsia among obese and overweight women.

Keywords: obesity; preeclampsia; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors