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Preeclampsia/eclampsia rate highest in black women


The rate of preeclampsia and eclampsia for black women is 61% higher than it is for white women and 50% higher than for women overall, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

In 2014, black women experienced preeclampsia/eclampsia in 69.8 of every 1,000 deliveries, compared with 43.3 per 1,000 deliveries in white women and 46.6 per 1,000 for all women. Hispanic women were just above the overall rate at 46.8 per 1,000 deliveries, and Asian/Pacific Islander women were 38% lower than the overall rate at 28.8 per 1,000 deliveries, AHRQ said in its report. The overall rate was up 21% over the 38.4 per 1,000 reported in 2005.

Looking at degree of severity, 1.7% of all preeclampsia/eclampsia births in black women were eclampsia, compared with 1.4% for white and Hispanic women and 0.9% for Asian/Pacific Islanders. Severe preeclampsia was most common in Asian/Pacific Islanders – 40.4% of those diagnosed – with Hispanics at 40.3%, blacks at 38.5%, and whites at 34.3%. Mild or unspecified preeclampsia was diagnosed in 52% of preeclamptic/eclamptic white women, 46% of Hispanic women, 45% of Asians/Pacific Islanders, and 37% of black women, the AHRQ said in its analysis of data from the National Inpatient Sample.

Altogether, there were almost 177,000 delivery hospitalizations with preeclampsia/eclampsia in 2014, representing 4.7% of all deliveries and making it the most common hypertension-related diagnosis, followed by gestational hypertension (3.8%) and preexisting hypertension (1.7%). Compared with hospital stays for all other deliveries, those complicated by preeclampsia/eclampsia were 70% longer (mean, 4.4 vs. 2.6 days) and 70% more expensive (mean, $7,500 vs. $4,400), according to the report.

Preeclampsia/eclampsia rate by race and ethnicity, 2014

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