Preeclampsia is a dangerous disorder that affects about seven million pregnant women each year. Now a national task force is offering new recommendations for expectant moms.
Women with preeclampsia have dangerously high blood pressure and protein in their urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is recommending a low dose aspiring for women at high risk, after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
"Low dose aspirin every day lowers the risk of preeclampsia by 24 percent," says Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, the co-vice chair of USPSTF. "And [it] lowers the risk of pre-term birth by 14 percent."
The recommendation is based on a review of the latest research. Preeclampsia is the leading cause of death in pregnant women.
"Once preeclampsia happens, we don't really have any kind of great treatment other than delivering the baby and sometimes we try bed rest," says Dr. Jacques Moritz, the director of gynecology at Mount Sinai Roosevelt.
Women are at high risk if they've had preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy or if they have a history of diabetes, hypertension or kidney disease.