Objectives Hypertension in pregnancy is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life. Blood pressure monitoring in women who experienced hypertension in pregnancy after puerperium has been suggested to be important for early detection and prevention of CVD. The aim of this study is to evaluate if hypertension six weeks postpartum is associated with chronic hypertension in women with a history of term hypertensive pregnancy disorders. Study design Women with a history of term gestational hypertension or preeclampsia were included in a follow up study of the HYPITAT trial. Blood pressures were measured six weeks and 2.5 years postpartum according to the study protocol. Main outcome measures Hypertension was defined as a diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg and/or a systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg or use of antihypertensive medication. Differences in categorical variables between groups were analyzed by Chi-Square tests. Blood pressure was analyzed using unpaired t-tests and Wilcox ranked tests. Results Among 187 women who had term hypertensive pregnancy disorders, 75 (40%) had hypertension at six weeks postpartum. Of these 46 (61%) had hypertension 2.5 years postpartum. In contrast, of 112 women without hypertension at six weeks postpartum, 36 (32%) had hypertension 2.5 years (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.8-6.2). Conclusion Among 61% of women who had hypertensive pregnancy disorders at term, high blood pressure at six weeks postpartum indicated chronic hypertension. This warrants the importance of identification of hypertension 6 weeks postpartum for women's future health.
Nuts Ohra foundation, Landsteiner Institute, Clara Kolster and research nurses from the consortium for women’s health and reproductive studies.
- Blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic hypertension
- Gestational hypertension