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pregnancy complications

Black Maternal Health Caucus Roundtable

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Black Maternal Health Caucus Event
On December 11, 2019, the Black Maternal Health Caucus hosted a special roundtable to discuss NIH’s efforts to address the rising rates of women, especially African American women, dying in the U. S. from preventable, pregnancy-related complications. The Black Maternal Health Caucus was launched this year to raise awareness within Congress about this important women’s health issue. Before the roundtable, I gathered with some of the participants. Standing next to me (from l-r) are: Diana Bianchi, director of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Congresswoman Alma Adams of North Carolina, a co-founder of the Caucus; Eliseo Pérez-Stable, director of NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois, also a co-founder of the Caucus; and Gary Gibbons, director of NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The roundtable was held in the Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. Credit: Lauren Underwood’s Office.

Preeclampsia: Study Highlights Need for More Effective Treatment, Prevention

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Obstetrics Exam

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It’s well known that preeclampsia, a condition characterized by a progressive rise in a pregnant woman’s blood pressure and appearance of protein in the urine, can have negative, even life-threatening impacts on the health of both mother and baby. Now, NIH-funded researchers have documented that preeclampsia is also taking a very high toll on our nation’s economic well-being. In fact, their calculations show that, in 2012 alone, preeclampsia-related care cost the U.S. health care system more than $2 billion.

These findings are especially noteworthy because preeclampsia rates in the United States have been steadily rising over the past 30 years, fueled in part by increases in average maternal age and weight. This highlights the urgent need for more research to develop new and more effective strategies to protect the health of all mothers and their babies.