Hypertension May Increase Heart Failure Risk after child birth in women’s
Hypertension in pregnancy is a common condition, affecting about 10% of pregnant women. This includes women with chronic hypertension—which may be diagnosed before pregnancy or in the early stages of pregnancy (<20 weeks’ gestation)—and women with hypertension related to pregnancy (gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia) (see box 1). If not identified and treated, hypertension can lead to adverse events for both the woman and her baby, including increased risk of maternal stroke, lower birth weight, and increased risk of the baby requiring neonatal intensive care.
women suffering from hypertension are at an increased risk of heart failure within the six weeks after delivery, also known as the postpartum period.
Heart failure is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and death, affecting relatively young reproductive-age women, especially among those with the presence of an additional disease or condition, such as hypertension.
The recent clinical research study found that although less than two per cent of all pregnancy-related hospitalisations occurred during the postpartum period, nearly 60 per cent of pregnancy related heart failure hospitalisations took place during the same time.
In the study, published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, the team analysed more than 50 million pregnancy-related hospitalisations.
The results showed that there was a 7.1 per cent increase each year in heart failure diagnoses among postpartum hospitalisations.
In addition, heart failure rates during the antepartum period, or prior to delivery, increased by an average of 4.9 per cent per year, which can be attributed to the presence of high blood pressure, diabetes, or other risk factors or conditions the women had before becoming pregnant.
Typically, women are discharged from the hospital within two to three days after delivery and are not evaluated by their health care providers again until six weeks later.
Hence, the researchers highlighted the need for close monitoring of high-risk women before they are discharged from the hospital after giving birth and through the postpartum period.
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