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Research Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacodynamics.

6(4): October-December, 2014, 190-192

ISSN 0975-4407 (Print) www.anvpublication.org

2321-5836 (Online)


The Occurrence and Associated Risk Factors of Pre –Eclampsia Amongst

Pregnant Women in Their Third Trimester of Gestation Attending the
Bamenda Sub–Divisional Medicalized Health Center Nkwen

Emmanuel N Tufon., Maguiateu Teguia, N and Samje Moses, O

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Research St. Louis University of Health and Biomedical Sciences,
Mile Three Nkwen Bamenda, Cameroon
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Bamenda, Cameroon
*Corresponding Author E-mail: tufipiccollo@yahoo.com

Pre –eclampsia is a condition that cause complications in pregnancy such as preterm delivery, low weight babies and
perinatal death. This study therefore was aimed at evaluating the occurrence and associated risk factors of pre –
eclampsia amongst pregnant women in their third trimester of gestation. A cross – sectional hospital based design
involving 160 randomly selected pregnant women. Data on demographic and risk factors were collected using a well –
structured pretested questionnaire while proteinuria and blood pressure were determined using combi – 2 dip strip and
sphygmomanometer respectively. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17. From the results obtained, the prevalence
of pre – eclampsia was shown to be 6.3% and the predisposing risk factors were maternal age, body mass index, past
history of pre – eclampsia, family history of diabetes mellitus, family history of hypertension, husbands age, paternity
and work stress. In conclusion, the occurrence of pre – eclampsia was high with the most important risk factors being
maternal age ≥ 35 years, family history of hypertension and past history of pre – eclampsia.

KEY WORDS: Eclampsia, 3rd trimester, pregnancy, gestation, Bamenda, Nkwen.

INTRODUCTION: The etiology of pre – eclampsia remains unknown but

Pre–eclampsia also known as pregnancy induced current hypotheses suggest placental ischemia, immune
hypertension is a condition characterized by high blood maladaptation, genetic predispositions and vascular
pressure (> 140/90mmHg) developing during pregnancy in mediated factors (Van and Peteers, 1998; Sibai, 2004).
a woman whose blood pressure was previously normal. It is
accompanied by proteinuria and excessive fluid retention Pre–eclampsia is a serious but poorly understood
(Iyengar, 2001). Pre – eclampsia is one of the primary complication which most pregnant women present with
causes of maternal mortality and morbidity in both especially during their 2nd and mostly 3rd trimester of
developed and developing countries (Bery et al., 1996). gestation. Pre – eclampsia is not easily diagnosed because
About 585,000 women die each year of pregnancy related the predisposing factors are not well known while in other
causes, 95% of them occur in developing countries (WHO, cases, the diagnosis is not done on time (WHO, 1998). Thus
1998) and 13% of these deaths are due to hypertensive this study aimed at evaluating the occurrence and associated
disorders of pregnancy particularly eclampsia (WHO, risk factors for pre – eclampsia amongst pregnant women
1998). during their 3rd trimester of gestation attending the
Bamenda sub– divisional Medicalized health center Nkwen.
The study of risk factors can be used to access risk at
Address for correspondence: antennal booking so that a suitable surveillance routine to
Emmanuel N Tufon., detect pre – eclampsia can be planned for the high risk
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Research St Louis University pregnant women who will likely develop pre – eclampsia.
of Health and Biomedical Sciences, Mile Three Nkwen Bamenda,
Received on 02.08.2014 Modified on 18.08.2014 Study Area:
Accepted on 05.09.2014 ©A&V Publications All right reserved This cross – sectional hospital based descriptive study was
Res. J. Pharmacology & P’dynamics. 6(4): Oct. - Dec.2014; Page 190-192 conducted at the Bamenda sub–divisional Medicalized
Research Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacodynamics. 6(4): October-December, 2014, 190-192

health center Nkwen located in the North West Region of Table 1: Demography of the study population
Cameroon. This hospital was selected because it has an Variable %(n)
antenatal clinic and a well – constructed laboratory. Age groups (years) 14-20 11.3(18)
21-27 50.6(81)
28-34 24.4(39)
Study Population: 35-41 13.1(21)
A total of 160 pregnant women in their 3rd trimester who 42-48 0.6(1)
accepted to participate were randomly selected to take part Occupation Students 28.8(46)
in the study. Teachers 18.1(29)
Farmer 3.8(6)
Traders 22.5(36)
Data Collection: Medical personnel 4.4(7)
A pre – tested well-structured questionnaire composed of Others 22.5(36)
open and closed ended questions was used to collect Level of Education Primary 13.8(22)
demographic and clinical data from the participants. Secondary 62.5(100)
University 23.1(37)
None 0.6(1)
Sample Collection:
The pregnant women who were randomly selected were
Distribution of some risk factors for pre – eclampsia:
given sterile wide – neck leak proof urine containers to
The prevalent risk factors identified in this study were
collect a clean catch mid – stream urine sample which were
family history of hypertension (18.1%), past history of pre –
tested immediately.
eclampsia (15.6%), maternal age ≥ 35 years (13.6%),
obesity (7.5%) and family history of diabetes mellitus
Determination of Proteinuria:
(5.6%). There are consistent findings of a positive
Proteinuria was determined using combi–2 strips
association between family history of diabetes and
(CYBOW) as follows; the strip was dipped into the freshly
hypertension and pre – eclampsia risk (Siddigi et al., 1991).
collected urine sample and the results read by comparing
Family history of hypertension is a proxy measure of
with a standard chart from manufacturer.
hereditary factors as well as common environment or
behavioral exposures that may underline pre – eclampsia
Determination of Blood Pressure:
risk (Caren and Solomon, 2001).
Blood pressure was taken using a sphygmomanometer.
Also husband’s age ≥ 40 years (37.6%) and primiparternity
Data Analysis:
(6.3%) and work stress (9.4%) were found to be the
The data collected were analyzed using SPSS version 17
pregnancy associated risk factors for pre – eclampsia.
and results represented on tables.
Harlap et al., 2002 reported that the risk of pre – eclampsia
was 24% higher if men were 35 – 44 years and 80% if they
Ethical considerations:
were 45 years and older. The term primiparternity (change
An informed consent form was attached to each
in partner) was introduced by Robillard and Husley (1996).
questionnaire so that each participant signed the consent
According to this theory, pre – eclampsia may be a problem
form before participating. Full confidentiality and
of primiparternity rather than primigravidity. Many studies
participants rights were maintained. Authorization for the
have shown that change in partner raises the risk for pre –
study was sought from the North West Regional Delegation
eclampsia in subsequent pregnancies (Odegard et al., 2000).
of Public Health and from the Medical officer of the
Bamenda sub – divisional Medicalized health center
Distribution of pre–eclampsia based on some risk
From the distribution of pre – eclampsia based on some risk
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: factors, most of the positive cases were within the age range
Prevalence of pre – eclampsia: of 14 – 20 years (1.9%) and 35 – 41 years (1.9%). Some
Out of the 160 pregnant women who participated in this studies have reported the association between age and pre –
study, 10 were positive for pre–eclampsia giving a eclampsia especially in pregnant elderly women above the
prevalence of 6.3%. This prevalence is slightly higher age of 35 years while others have shown an association of
compared to the findings of Agustin and José (1999) who pre – eclampsia with younger age groups. Thus advancing
reported a 4.8% prevalence of pre – eclampsia in Latin maternal age as well as young maternal age is a risk factor
America and Caribbean. for pre – eclampsia (Duckitt and Harrington, 2005). Also,
Mostello et al., 2002 reported that a high proportion of pre
Demographic presentation of the study population: – eclampsia cases occur in those at the extreme ends of the
From the results, most of the participants were within the productive age. These reports are consistent to the results
age range of 21 – 27 years (50%) and were mostly students obtained in this study.
(28.8%) with most of them having secondary level as their
highest level of education (62.5%). This could be explained Also based on occupation (work), most of the positive cases
by the fact that most of the participants were students who were found amongst teachers (1.9%) followed by farmers
were still struggling to update their academic profile. (1.3%) and traders (1.3%). This is similar to the

Research Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacodynamics. 6(4): October-December, 2014, 190-192

epidemiological study by Ceron – Mireless et al., 2001 who ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

reported that pre – eclampsia increases with work related We wish to acknowledge the medical officer at the sub –
stress. Also Klonoff et al., 1996 reported that working divisional Medicalized health center Nkwen and to the
women had 2.3 times the risk of developing pre – eclampsia entire working staff for their collaboration during this study.
compared with non – working women. Also we are indebted to the women who gave us their time
to participate in this study. It is our prayer that the results be
Table 2: Distribution of some risk factors identified in the study
used to monitor pre –eclampsia occurrence amongst the
Variables %(n) pregnant women in the area.
Maternal Maternal age (years)
specific risk 14-20 11.8(18) Limitations:
factors 21-27 50.6(81) This study is important with reference to the study area but
28-34 24.4(39) was a cross – sectional study thus conclusions are casual.
35-41 13.1(21)
42-48 0.6(1)
We therefore solicit for help from any organization so that a
Body mass index longitudinal study could be carried out on a larger scale and
Normal weight 85.6(137) involving a larger number of women from other institutions
Over weight 6.9(11) to further increase reliability; so that the results obtained
Obessed 7.5(12) will be recommended for implementation in routine
Past history of preeclampsia
Yes 15.6(25)
antennal booking for any pregnant woman in the area.
No 84.4(135)
Family history of Diabetes mellitus REFERENCES:
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