ACOG's Continuing Commitment to Preeclampsia Progress

May 23, 2014

By James N. Martin, Jr, MD

From conception to inception, ACOG’s undertaking of a Task Force on Hypertension in Pregnancy began after my start as president-elect for the organization in the spring of 2010. The Task Force—a team of 16 experts with a strong patient perspective—kicked off its work well before its first meeting in Washington, DC, during the summer of 2011.

For two years the Task Force carefully and critically reviewed and graded the available obstetric literature and held multiple meetings marked by challenging debates and discussion. The Executive Summary of the Task Force results and recommendations finally appeared in the November 2013 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The full draft of the 89-page report is now available online.

Only six of the 60 recommendations made by the Task Force had high quality of evidence and strong strength of recommendation. The need for more research in this exceedingly important area of health care for women is undeniable. The Task Force made headway in this quest by providing physicians and patients with a better understanding of preeclampsia and its diagnosis, management, and implications for future health. Better educated physicians and patients are key.

In addition to the Task Force Report, ACOG continues its emphasis in this arena by:

I fervently hope that the future will hold advances that allow us to intervene in a pregnancy identified at risk of preeclampsia and prevent its further development or progression. An ultimate goal is to eliminate fetal, perinatal, and maternal morbidity and mortality caused by preeclampsia and the other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

James N. Martin, Jr, MD, served as ACOG President from 2011 to 2012.

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