MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Blood pressure (BP) trajectories in the first six weeks postpartum may help identify women who are likely to have persistent hypertension at six to 18 months, according to a study presented at The Pregnancy Meeting, the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, held virtually from Jan 25 to 30.

Eesha Dave, M.D., from the UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, and colleagues evaluated BP trajectories in the first six weeks postpartum among 368 women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP; February 2018 through June 2019) participating in a remote postpartum hypertension monitoring program (5,958 BP measurements; mean follow-up, 12.9 months postpartum).

The researchers found that 49.5 percent of women were hypertensive at follow-up and 50.5 percent were normotensive. Prepregnancy body mass index (pBMI) was higher among women who were hypertensive at follow-up. Women with persistent hypertension had a slower decline in BP in the first six weeks postpartum and had higher BPs at the postpartum visit, despite no differences in BP at the first prenatal visit. When adjusting for pBMI and type of HDP, these differences persisted.

“By leveraging data from our widely scaled postpartum hypertension remote monitoring program, we were able to discover that a woman’s blood pressure in the first six weeks after childbirth appears to be an important indicator of whether she is likely to develop chronic hypertension six to 18 months later,” Dave said in a statement.

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