"The more risk factors a woman has, the more likely she and her fetus will be at risk during pregnancy and birth. Statistics are available for some risk factors:
- High blood pressure. According to statistics collected by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, about 6% to 8% of pregnant women in the United States have high blood pressure. About 70% of them are women who are pregnant for the first time.
- Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia affects an estimated 3% to 5% of pregnancies in the United States, and 5% to 10% of all pregnancies globally. The majority occur at term.
- Multiple births (twins). The National Center for Health Statistics reported that between 1980 and 2009, the twin birth rate increased 76%—from 19 to 33 per thousand births. For women between the ages of 35 and 39, twin births rose by 100%, and for women aged 40 and older, the increase in twin births was more than 200%. The increase in multiple births is due in part to the use of fertility treatments, especially in women older than age 35.
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