First time mums needed for pre-eclampsia study

Posted by ap507 at Dec 21, 2016 09:40 AM |
University of Leicester leads new study

Issued by Orange Juice Communications on 21 December 2016

Leicester researchers are looking at why women who suffer from a dangerous condition during pregnancy are at greater risk of stroke or heart disease in later life.

First time mums are being asked to take part in a study which could potentially save lives and help doctors understand more about the long-term effects of pre-eclampsia on mums’ hearts.

The leading cause of maternal deaths around the world, pre-eclampsia causes poor growth of the baby and can lead to heart problems later in life for mum and child.

It is characterised by high blood pressure and a large amount of protein in the urine.

The work is being carried out by the NIHR Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) at Glenfield Hospital, which is a partnership between the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

The team is hoping to recruit first time mums between 18 and 40 years of age, who had a baby 12 to 18 months ago.

They want a mixture of women who had pre-eclampsia and also women who did not in a bid to find out whether the condition, that affects about 4 per cent of pregnant women in the UK, is directly linked to heart problems in later life. 

Professor Philip Baker, who is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology at the University of Leicester, said: “We already know that women who suffer from pre-eclampsia during pregnancy are at greater risk of stroke or heart disease in later life, but we don’t know why.

“We want to use this study to find out whether it’s the pre-eclampsia that increases their risk, or whether risk factors such as family history and obesity cause both pre-eclampsia and heart disease at different points in a woman’s life.

“By identifying women who have had pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, we may be able to recognise and screen women at risk of heart disease earlier in life, giving us an opportunity to start preventative treatment a long time before these problems occur. This could benefit a huge number of women all around the world.”

The study will see the participants spilt into groups depending on whether they suffered from pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy, or whether they had a normal pregnancy.

Those who are interested in taking part will need to attend a one-off three-hour visit to Glenfield hospital.

There they will be asked questions about their pregnancy and health, have blood taken and undergo an MRI scan.

The findings will be based upon any changes which are seen in the heart of those who are scanned.

The NIHR BRUs are focused on translational clinical research, taking new ideas from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside to improve health.

The NIHR Leicester Cardiovascular BRU at Glenfield Hospital harnesses the power of experimental science to explore and develop ways to help prevent and treat cardiovascular conditions.

The BRU is one of 20 units around England funded by the NIHR, the research arm of the NHS.

Notes to editors

For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email oliver.jelley@ojpr.co.uk or Fiona.bailey@ojpr.co.uk

  • www.le.ac.uk/bru
  • The Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit at Glenfield Hospital aims to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The unit provides state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to assist researchers in their complex projects. LCBRU is one of 20 BRUs in England funded by the NIHR. LCBRU is a partnership between the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. The Unit's director is Professor Sir Nilesh Samani and the manager is Dr Martin Batty.
  • The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk). centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit http://www.nihr.ac.uk.
  • The University of Leicester is led by discovery and innovation. Find out more: https://le.ac.uk/about-us. Follow on Twitter @uniofleicester and @UoLNewsCentre

 

 

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