Eclampsia, the occurrence of a grand mal seizure in the setting of hypertension in pregnancy, remains a major women's health issue and an important cause of maternal and fetal morbidity in the United States. We reviewed the incidence, management, and outcome of cases of eclampsia during a 13-year period at a major maternity hospital. We confirmed 33 cases of eclampsia seen during that period and have evaluated risk factors in this population. Medical records were reviewed to obtain demographic and clinical data. Characteristics of the eclamptic women were compared with those of the general obstetric population during the same time period. The overall incidence of eclampsia at this tertiary care center was 0.028%. The majority of eclamptic women (75%) had four or more prenatal visits. Young age (≤ 20 years) and first pregnancy remained important risk factors for eclampsia. Although many women with eclampsia had preceding hypertension or elevated urine protein levels or both, some experienced eclampsia as their first disease manifestation. Although the occurrence of eclampsia was low, eclampsia continues to complicate pregnancy in this large U.S. obstetric population.
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