London: A simple blood test could help detect the risk of preclampsia, or hypertension, during the first three months of pregnancy, a recent study has said.
Women with low levels of a protein called VEGF165b present a higher tendency to suffer from high blood pressure compared to others whose concentrations are high, according to the experts in the University of Bristol who conducted the study, reports Prensa Latina.
Measurement of concentrations of this protein during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy could help obstetricians to assess the possibility of their patient suffering from that problem.
This would allow timely treatment to prevent complications which could possibly threaten the lives of both mother and the baby.
Preclampsia is a condition in which blood pressure spikes during pregnancy and has features similar to heart disease.
An earlier study has suggested that women who eat chocolates during pregnancy have a decreased risk of life-threatening preclampsia that affects about 10 per cent of pregnancies.