School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Precision Health / School of Science
Background: Preeclampsia is a leading cause of foeto-maternal deaths especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, the prevalence and risk factors of preeclampsia are scarce in the Central region of Ghana with previous study assessing individual independent risk factors. This study determined the prevalence and algorithm of adverse foeto-maternal risk factors of preeclampsia. Methods: This multi-centre prospective cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2021 to October 2022 at the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital and Fynba Health Centre in Central region, Ghana. A total of 1,259 pregnant women were randomly sampled and their sociodemographic, clinical history, obstetrics and labour outcomes were recorded. Logistic regression analysis using SPSS version 26 was performed to identify risk factors of preeclampsia. Results: Of the 1,259 pregnant women, 1174 were finally included in the study. The prevalence of preeclampsia was 8.8% (103/1174). Preeclampsia was common among 20–29 years age group, those who had completed basic education, had informal occupation, multigravida and multiparous. Being primigravida [aOR = 1.95, 95% CI (1.03–3.71), p = 0.042], having previous history of caesarean section [aOR = 4.48, 95% CI (2.89–6.93), p < 0.001], foetal growth restriction [aOR = 3.42, 95% CI (1.72–6.77), p < 0.001] and birth asphyxia [aOR = 27.14, 95% CI (1.80–409.83), p = 0.017] were the independent risk factors of preeclampsia. Pregnant women exhibiting a combination of primigravida, previous caesarean section and foetal growth restriction were the highest risk for preeclampsia [aOR = 39.42, 95% CI (8.88–175.07, p < 0.001] compared to having either two or one of these factors. Conclusion: Preeclampsia is increasing among pregnant women in the Central region of Ghana. Pregnant women being primigravida with foetal growth restriction and previous history of caesarean section are the highest risk population likely to develop preeclampsia with neonates more likely to suffer adverse birth outcome such as birth asphyxia. Targeted preventive measures of preeclampsia should be created for pregnant women co-existing with multiple risk factors.
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