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Preeclampsia is the development of swelling, elevated blood pressure, sudden and rapid weight gain and protein in the urine during pregnancy. The exact cause is unknown, but it occurs in approximately 5% of the population.

Review Date 4/5/2016

Updated by: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.