Nav: Home

Elevated first trimester blood pressure increases risk for pregnancy hypertensive disorders

June 27, 2019

Elevated blood pressure in the first trimester of pregnancy, or an increase in blood pressure between the first and second trimesters, raises the chances of a high blood pressure disorder of pregnancy, according to a study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The study was led by Alisse Hauspurg, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and appears in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The researchers sought to determine how revisions in guidelines for blood pressure in non-pregnant adults might apply to pregnant women. The results suggest that blood pressure readings lower than those traditionally used to identify women as having high blood pressure may indicate a higher risk for a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, such as gestational high blood pressure, which develops after the 20th week of pregnancy, and preeclampsia, or high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Both conditions increase the risk for stroke in the mother and for stillbirth, preterm birth and low birth weight. Preeclampsia also increases the risk for eclampsia--life-threatening seizures for the mother.

The researchers analyzed data from Monitoring Mothers-to-Be (nuMoM2b), a study which sought to identify risks for birth and pregnancy complications in first-time mothers. For roughly 8,900 women, researchers compared blood pressure readings in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy to blood pressure status in the remainder of pregnancy. None of the women had stage 2 high blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or higher) at the time they entered the study.

Of women who had elevated blood pressure in the first trimester (120/80 to 129/80 mmHg), 30.3% developed a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, a 42% higher risk than for women with normal blood pressure (less than 120/80 mmHg). Of women with stage 1 high blood pressure (130/80 to 130/89 mmHg), 37.8% developed a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, an 80% greater risk than women with normal blood pressure. Stage 1 high blood pressure was associated with more than 2.5 times the risk for preeclampsia.

An increase in blood pressure between the first and second trimester also increased the risk of a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. For example, even among women with normal blood pressure in the first trimester, an increase in systolic pressure (the top number) was associated with a 41% higher risk of any hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, compared to women with a decrease in systolic pressure between the first and second trimester. An increase in diastolic pressure (the bottom number) was associated with a 23% higher risk of a hypertensive disorder, compared to women who had a decrease in diastolic pressure during this time.
-end-
Reference

Hauspurg A, et al. Early pregnancy blood pressure category and trajectory and risk of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2019

About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): NICHD conducts and supports research in the United States and throughout the world on fetal, infant and child development; maternal, child and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit http://www.nichd.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov

NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Related Blood Pressure Articles:

Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.
Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.
The Lancet Neurology: High blood pressure and rising blood pressure between ages 36-53 are associated with smaller brain volume and white matter lesions in later years
A study of the world's oldest, continuously-studied birth cohort tracked blood pressure from early adulthood through to late life and explored its influence on brain pathologies detected using brain scanning in their early 70s.
Blood pressure control is beneficial, is it not?
Until recently, physicians had generally assumed that older adults benefit from keeping their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg.
The 'blue' in blueberries can help lower blood pressure
A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating 200g of blueberries every day for a month can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure in healthy people.
More Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...