Preeclampsia develops only as a complication of pregnancy. Risk factors include:

  • History of preeclampsia. A personal or family history of preeclampsia significantly raises your risk of preeclampsia.
  • First pregnancy. The risk of developing preeclampsia is highest during your first pregnancy.
  • New paternity. Each pregnancy with a new partner increases the risk of preeclampsia over a second or third pregnancy with the same partner.
  • Age. The risk of preeclampsia is higher for pregnant women older than 40.
  • Obesity. The risk of preeclampsia is higher if you're obese.
  • Multiple pregnancy. Preeclampsia is more common in women who are carrying twins, triplets or other multiples.
  • Interval between pregnancies. Having babies less than two years or more than 10 years apart leads to a higher risk of preeclampsia.
  • History of certain conditions. Having certain conditions before you become pregnant — such as chronic high blood pressure, migraine headaches, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, a tendency to develop blood clots, or lupus — increases your risk of preeclampsia.
Jul. 03, 2014

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