According to a new research the count of pregnant ladies with high levels of blood pressure has been increasing over the last forty years in the US. Data from nearly 151 million hospitalizations were analyzed by researchers from 1970–2010 to find out chronic high pressure rates in case of pregnant women who were aged 15–49 years.
A high level of blood pressure before the start of pregnancy or by the initial 20 weeks of their gestation was known as chronic high blood pressure. Instead of the 130/80 benchmark measurement, 140/90 was used by the researchers for the study. High levels of blood pressure during pregnancy are a threat to both mother and her fetus. The major risks involved include chances of stillbirth, heart failure, stroke, heart muscle ailment, kidney failure, pre-eclampsia and even death. About 1 million women have had chronic high blood pressure during their pregnancy and the rates have steeply increased over the years. There was a rise from 0.11% in the year 1970 to 1.52% in 2010 which was a 13 fold increment.
According to the study there was a 6% average rise in rates each year from 1979. There was 7% annual increase in case of white women and was higher when compared to the 4% increase in rates in case of black women. It was also found in the study that black women had twice the chances of having high levels of blood pressure during their pregnancy. Cande Ananth is the study author who is also the chief of epidemiology and biostatistics under the department of gynecology, obstetrics and reproductive science at the Rutgers Medical School.
He said women who already have high levels of blood pressure and are getting ready to become pregnant should get their health check done to monitor and then manage blood pressure during their pregnancy. This will help in reducing health risks to them and the unborn baby. He also said that as most women prefer to postpone first pregnancies and since chances of high blood pressure is higher in older mothers, women should be properly aware of the risks of having high levels of blood pressure at the time of pregnancy.