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Open Access Prevalence of and risk factors for eclampsia in pregnant women in India

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence.

Objective: Eclampsia is a potentially fatal disorder in pregnant women and remains an important cause of maternal and perinatal child morbidity and death worldwide. We aimed to assess the prevalence of and risk factors for convulsions (not occurring from fever) during pregnancy in Indian women. Convulsion is a key symptom suggestive of eclampsia.

Methods: Cross-sectional data from India’s third National Family Health Survey, conducted during 2005‐2006 were used. Self-reported information on convulsions during pregnancy was ¬≠obtained from 39,657 women aged 15‐49 years who had a live birth in the 5 years preceding the survey. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to explore risk factors for convulsion in¬≠ pregnancy.

Results: Overall, 1 in 10 women reported having convulsions in their most recent pregnancy. The prevalence was significantly higher in women living in rural areas compared with those living in urban areas (11.3% vs. 7.4%; P<0.0001), with marked state and geographic variation. The odds of convulsions were significantly higher in women with a twin pregnancy [odds ratio (OR) 2.12; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.45‐3.11], a previously terminated pregnancy (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.20‐1.45), diabetes (OR 1.37; 95% CI 0.99‐1.89), or asthma (OR 1.85; 95% CI 1.35‐2.54), in women who were alerted to pregnancy complications (OR 2.78; 95% CI 2.50‐3.08), in Sikh women (OR 1.73; 95% CI 1.28‐2.33), in women in a low social group (OR 1.40; 95% CI 1.25‐1.58), and in women residing in central India (OR 1.51; 95% CI 1.31‐1.74) or eastern India (OR 1.33; 95% CI 1.14‐1.54) with reference to their counterparts.

Conclusion: Our findings from a large population-based nationally representative sample of Indian women indicate a high prevalence of convulsions, a symptom suggestive of eclampsia, and its association with several maternal, lifestyle risk factors and sociodemographic characteristics.
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Keywords: Convulsions; Indian; eclampsia; risk factors; women

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2017

This article was made available online on 22 March 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Prevalence of and risk factors for Eclampsia in pregnant women in India".

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript http://www.compuscript.com on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press http://www.chinagp.net.

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