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Risk Factors for Preeclampsia (PE)

Certain risk factors are associated with PE. Studies have suggested that risk factors for PE may include one or more of the following:
  • A history of PE, either personally or in a family member
  • First pregnancy
  • First pregnancy with a new partner
  • Age
    • The risk of preeclampsia is higher for pregnant women younger than 20 and older than 40.
  • Obesity
  • Multiples pregnancy
    • PE tends to be more common in women who are carrying twins, triplets, or other multiples
  • Prolonged interval between pregnancies
  • Diabetes and gestational diabetes
  • Other conditions present prior to pregnancy including:
    • chronic high blood pressure
    • migraine headaches
    • diabetes
    • kidney disease
    • rheumatoid arthritis
    • lupus erythematosus
Researchers are studying other possible risk factors associated with PE. Although more studies are needed, there is evidence of possible increased risks for PE in women with urinary tract infections and periodontal disease during pregnancy, insufficient vitamin D intake, and high blood or urine protein.