Hypertensive Disorders Affect 1 in 7 Hospital Deliveries

You may be shocked to learn that between 2017 and 2019 one-third of those who died during a hospital delivery had a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, according to the CDC. This condition is increasing and causes severe complications like a heart attack or stroke. Let’s learn more.

Man holding woman's hand during baby delivery

Some Facts About Hypertensive Disorders Of Pregnancy

Hypertensive disorder of pregnancy is a leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths. The highest prevalence of deaths was among women ages 35-44 (18%) and 45-55 (31%), black women (20.9%), American Indian and Alaska native women (16.4%).

Among deaths in the hospital, 31.6% had a diagnosis code for hypertensive disorder of pregnancy documented.

This condition can begin during or after pregnancy, with chronic hypertension beginning before pregnancy and continuing during the pregnancy.

Increased risks include advanced maternal age, obesity, and diabetes. These factors have also increased in the United States in recent years.

Issues With High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

High blood pressure causes multiple risks to both the mother and growing baby.

Decreased Blood Flow To The Placenta

When this occurs, the baby receives less nutrients and oxygen. This can result in low birth weight or premature birth. This in turn can result in increased risk of infection and breathing problems for the baby.

Placenta Abruption

Here the placenta can separate from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. If it is severe, it can cause heavy bleeding, which is life threatening for both you and your baby.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction

High blood pressure can result in slow or decreased growth of the baby.

Injury To Organs

When blood pressure is not controlled, your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other organs can be damaged. This is life threatening.

Premature delivery

Future cardiovascular disease

Looking Forward

Doctors and pregnant women must identify and then manage high blood pressure during pregnancy.

The CDC suggests the following:

The prevalence of HDP increased during the 3-year study period with noted racial and ethnic, sociodemographic, and place-based disparities. Severe HDP-associated maternal complications and mortality are preventable with equitable implementation of public health and clinical strategies. These include efforts across the life course for preventing HDP, identifying, monitoring, and appropriately treating those with HDP with continuous and coordinated care, increasing awareness of urgent maternal warning signs, and implementing quality improvement initiatives to address severe hypertension.

Contact Capital Women’s Care at (301) 681-3400 if you have further questions about hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, or if you have concerns for your pregnancy.