CDC: Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy affect 1 in 7 hospital deliveries

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 12:55 PM CDT
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(WSAW) - Hypertensive disorders affect 1 in 7 hospital births according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The study found the prevalence of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy increased from about 13% in 2017 to 16% in 2019, affecting at least 1 in 7 delivery hospitalizations during this period. HDP are common and can cause severe complications for pregnant people, such as heart attacks and strokes, and are a leading cause of pregnancy-related death in the United States.

“As healthcare professionals, we must recognize the factors that contribute to racial inequities and work individually and collectively to reduce these rates.” said Wanda Barfield, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Addressing hypertensive disorders in pregnancy is a key strategy in reducing inequities in pregnancy-related mortality.”

Characteristics associated with increased risk for HDP, such as advanced maternal age, obesity, and diabetes have increased in the U.S. and may explain the increase in HDP prevalence.

Experts say severe complications and deaths from HDP are preventable. 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.

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