Why Should We Care About Pregnancy?
While pregnancy-related maternal mortality in the past two decades has dropped by nearly half worldwide, it has exhibited a two-fold increase in the United States and a steadily rising trend (Troiano & Witcher, 2018). Pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia and premature labor and birth, have also contributed to severe maternal and perinatal morbidity, with significant physical and emotional health consequences and billions of dollars lost in annual expenditure (Kilpatrick & Ecker, 2016; Liu et al, 2016). Health implications extend well beyond the postpartum period, as noted through the prevalence of chronic medical conditions, neurodevelopmental and growth deficits, and cardiovascular disease amongst implicated neonates (Blencowe et al, 2013). Women’s health experts speculate that as many as one-half of those cases could have been prevented with early recognition and prevention (Berg et al, 2006).
Researchers at ISB are partnering with leading experts in women’s health and obstetrics to address this unmet need, using systems approaches to elucidate the landscape of normal pregnancy and its perturbed state in pathological pregnancy and to ultimately identify at-risk pregnancies for timely interception.