High blood pressure is becoming more common for pregnant women

Henrietta Strickland
September 11, 2019

Lead author Cande V. Ananth, PhD, MPH, professor and vice chair of academic affairs, and chief of the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, explains why hypertension rose by period, stating, "Better prenatal care in recent years may have caught hypertension earlier, as well as different diagnostic criteria".

He noted that older mothers were more likely to have chronic high blood pressure.

In this study, researchers analyzed much more than 150 million childbirth-related hospitalizations from 1970 until eventually 2010.

There exists a link between high blood pressure and cognitive decline, and treating high blood pressure may slow the process, according to a preliminary study presented by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions. The researchers used a lower measurement - 140/90 - than the 130/80 benchmark that now brings a high blood pressure diagnosis. "Since more women are electing to postpone their first pregnancies, and advanced maternal age is strongly associated with chronic high blood pressure, women should be aware of the risks associated with having high blood pressure during pregnancy".

The researchers utilized data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) to determine blood pressure trends among pregnant women between 1970 and 2010.

Increased on average by 6% every year since 1979, with white women showing a slightly higher increase (7%) than black women (4%) each year. Previous research has also shown that compared with white women, black women have higher rates of obesity, are more likely to smoke and use drugs, and are at greater social disadvantage, all of which are factors that may contribute to an increased risk of hypertension.

The study also discovered a substantial disparity between white and black expectant mothers. Researchers say this could be because black women have higher rates of preeclampsia, pregestational and gestational diabetes, preterm delivery, and perinatal mortality.

The variety of pregnant girls with substantial blood strain has spiked about the earlier four decades, in accordance to a research posted in the journal Hypertension.

"We were a very surprised that the increasing prevalence of obesity and the declining prevalence of smoking rates had virtually no impact on trends in chronic hypertension during pregnancy", Ananth added.

Chronic high blood pressure was defined as high blood pressure before pregnancy or during the first 20 weeks of gestation.

High blood pressure is something all consumers need to keep an eye on, but a new study shows that pregnant women can be especially susceptible to the condition. For an unborn child, hypertension in pregnancy increases the risk of stillbirth or newborn death.

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