It’s a condition that kills up to 200,000 women every year worldwide and there is no way of predicting who will be affected by it.

It’s called pre-eclampsia and researchers at the University of Alberta say they’re on the cusp of developing a simple test that will predict which women could develop the condition.

“We’ve identified the biomarkers and we have a way now of using these to predict who’s at risk of pre-eclampsia,” said Louise Kenny, one of the lead researchers. “What we’re trying to do now is turn those biomarkers into the clinical test.”

The team is now working on making a cheap, easily accessible test that they can put into hospitals. “Realistically, if we get buy-in from a commercial partner, I think a three-to-five-year time frame is reasonable,” Kenny said.

Cheryl Walker knows the importance of the research all too well. Walker developed pre-eclampsia while she was pregnant with her son Gabriel in 2007. She survived but lost her baby to the condition.

“I’m happy that someone else won’t know the shock that we knew and there’s some comfort in that,” Walker said. “It is too late for Gabriel and I, and that breaks my heart.”

Most Popular From ...