Fewer than 14% of high-risk women have attended a postpartum blood pressure screening

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In a new study, only 13.7% of women diagnosed with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) attended a blood pressure screening visit within 10 days of delivery. HDP can cause life-threatening complications, as described in the study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Women’s Health.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women with HDP undergo blood pressure screening 7-10 days after delivery to detect postpartum hypertension, or earlier if symptoms develop.

Sheree Boulet, DrPH, MPH from Emory University School of Medicine, and coauthors conducted a population-based study of pregnant women who delivered at a large public hospital in Atlanta, and identified demographic and clinical predictors of postpartum blood pressure (BP) screening attendance among women with HDP. They found that women with pre-eclampsia with severe features were more likely to attend a BP visit than women with gestational hypertension. Furthermore, rates of BP screening attendance were lower for women with inadequate and intermediate prenatal care utilization compared to women with adequate prenatal care utilization.

“These findings suggest that we have a long way to go in improving BP screening attendance,” state the authors. “Addressing the gap in postpartum BP screening will require creative solutions to address barriers at the individual-, provider-, and systems-levels.”

Hypertensive disorders during pregnancy increase risk for high blood pressure after delivery

More information:
Alexa Campbell et al, Demographic and Clinical Predictors of Postpartum Blood Pressure Screening Attendance, Journal of Women’s Health (2021). DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2021.0161

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Fewer than 14% of high-risk women have attended a postpartum blood pressure screening (2021, November 23)
retrieved 23 November 2021
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