Overview Of Hypertension During Pregnancy

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Anna Clare Wheeler KIN 211-701 March 6, 2015 Overview of Hypertension During Pregnancy The presentation of unwarranted hypertension in any individual medically denotes recognition and should be monitored. To be recognized as “hypertension” different criteria need to be met for different individuals. According to “The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure” a patient is considered pre-hypertensive with a systolic BP between 120-139 mmHg or a diastolic BP between 80-89 mm Hg (Chobanian, et al. 2003). For individuals older than 50 years of age, reaching a systolic BP above 140 mmHg greatly increases an individual’s risk for cardiovascular disease…show more content…
“Chronic hypertension is globally one of the most dangerous intercurrent diseases of pregnancy since it is associated with many serious complication for both mothers and children” (Zetterstrom, 2008). This condition presents in 1-5% of pregnancies and is higher in older, obese, and black women (Wood, 1996). It is described as having a BP higher than 140/90 mm Hg before the 20th week of gestation (Wood, 1996). Sometimes this is a continuation of pre-gestational hypertension. Two categories exist with this type of hypertension, those being: mild and severe. It has been noted that treatment of chronic hypertension is often well tolerated by the mothers through continued use of her previously prescribed antihypertensive medications or newly prescribed medications. However, these can often pose a threat to the fetus, and can affect the child long after birth (Magee, 1998). For this reason treatment of chronic hypertension during pregnancy has to vary from case to case. Some medications of choice include intravenous labetalol or nifedipine given sublingually (Magee, 1999). If untreated, however, there can be even worse outcomes for the neonate due to the likelihood of the mother developing superimposed preeclampsia and abruption placentae, which will be discussed in detail later. Uniquely, it has been found that male offspring suffer more from the effects of maternal chronic hypertension (Zetterstrom, 2008). Reasons for this are still not
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