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Also known as toxemia of pregnancy, preeclampsia can affect your health and the health of your growing baby. This serious condition may affect pregnant women during the second half of their pregnancies. Although the exact cause of preeclampsia remains unknown, the "New York Times' Health Guide" advises that possible causes include autoimmune disorders, genetic factors and blood vessel problems. Like other health concerns during pregnancy, recognizing the symptoms of this serious condition can alert you to its presence and prompt you to contact your doctor. Although warning signs may indicate the existence of toxemia, some women exhibit no symptoms.