Researchers look for clues to identify women with preeclampsia at risk of heart problems in later life

Fetal medicine specialists at St George’s, University of London and St George’s Hospital are investigating new ways to identify women whose lifelong risk of heart problems caused by preeclampsia could be reduced by early medical interventions.

Traditionally medics believed that preeclampsia – which affects about 3.5 per cent of pregnancies and symptoms of which include high blood pressure, swollen ankles and protein in the urine – was a condition that only affects the placenta and pregnancy. But using modern scanning techniques, the team at St George’s – which runs a specialist fetal medicine clinic at St George’s Hospital and conducts medical research through St George’s, University of London – found that the condition also compromises the mothers’ hearts in pregnancy.