Original Investigation

Preeclampsia and eclampsia incidence in the eastern anatolia region of Turkey: the effects of high altitude


  • Yakup Kumtepe
  • Onur Du¨ndar
  • Kadir Çetinkaya
  • Metin Ingeç

Received Date: 21.11.2010 Accepted Date: 29.01.2011 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2011;12(1):26-30 PMID: 24591953


Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy remain a leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. The purpose of this study was to determine the distribution map related to pregnancy toxicosis of provinces in our region and the effects of altitude on hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets (HELLP) syndrome and eclampsia.

Materials and Methods:

Patients who were admitted to Atatürk University, Obstetrics and Gynecology Department with preeclampsia, eclampsia and a diagnosis of HELLP syndrome for the 5 years between1998-2002 were chosen. The birth rate was obtained from the health directorate of provinces in our area during the same period. Provinces were divided into two groups by altitude: less than and more than 1500 m above sea level.


The rates of HELLP syndrome and eclampsia diagnoses were 1.4 per 10.000 patients living above 1500 m altitude. However, this rate was 0.96 per 10.000 patients living below 1500 m altitude (p < 0.01). The highest rate of eclampsia and HELLP syndrome was seen in the Ardahan province, in 36 patients per 10,000 births, whereas the lowest rate was seen in the Iğdır province, 9.9 patients per 10,000 births.


Altitude contributes to occurrence of HELLP syndrome and eclampsia. Since the rate of pregnancy related hypertension is higher at high altitude, it is vital that these patients should be diagnosed during the early stages of the diseases in order to decrease complications.

Keywords: Preeclampsia, eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, high altitude