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This article highlights the importance of preeclampsia as a global public health problem and the lack of a satisfactory model to explain its genesis. Scientific advances relevant to the placental pathophysiology, which have resulted in a deeper understanding of the immunological mechanisms associated to preeclampsia and have been translated into better treatment options, are also highlighted, although to date these approaches cannot explain the origin of the disease. From a theoretical approach underpinned by the concepts related to the social determinants of the health, and specifically from current psychosocial epidemiology, an alternative approach that gives account for the genesis of preeclampsia is proposed. The proposal is based in the scientific literature as well as in the work of the authors; it takes as references unfavorable socioeconomic and psychosocial conditions in pregnant women, linking these conditions to a series of failed adaptive biological processes closely related to an ineffective allostatic response by the body, which ultimately determines the occurrence of the disease.