The first-trimester of pregnancy: a window of opportunity for prediction and prevention of pregnancy complications and future life

Liona C. Poon, H. David McIntyre, Jonathan A. Hyett, Eduardo Borges da Fonseca, Moshe Hod, the FIGO Pregnancy and NCD Committee

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    Abstract

    The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) has identified non communicable maternal diseases (NCDs) as a new focus area. NCDs and exposures as related to pregnancy complications and later impairment of maternal and offspring health will form the basis for action in the forthcoming years. This paper summarizes recent advances, centered on the use of first-trimester testing, as a window of opportunity to predict and prevent many pregnancy complications; and for potential future prevention of NCDs in mother and offspring. Recent results from a large-scale randomized control trial have provided definitive proof that effective screening for preterm preeclampsia (preterm-PE), requiring delivery before 37 weeks’ gestation, can be achieved with a combined test of maternal factors and biomarkers at 11-13 weeks and that aspirin, given to high-risk women, is effective in reducing the risk of preterm-PE and the length of stay in neonatal intensive care unit. This is the first successful example to illustrate that pregnancy complications is predictable and preventable in early pregnancy. Similar prediction and prevention strategies are being developed for hyperglycemia in pregnancy and preterm birth, with the intention for longer lasting interventions leading to significant downstream impact in improving long-term health in both mothers and babies.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
    Early online date29 May 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 May 2018

    Keywords

    • First-trimester
    • Prediction
    • Prevention
    • Non-communicable diseases
    • Pregnancy complications
    • Preeclampsia
    • Hyperglycemia
    • Gestational diabetes
    • Preterm birth

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