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Things to know about hypertensive disorders of pregnancy

Updated: 2020-03-25


1. What are hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, or HDP?

HDP is a group of diseases in which pregnancy coexists with elevated blood pressure.

Elevated blood pressure refers to:

Systolic blood pressure of ≥140mmHg and (or) diastolic blood pressure≥90mmHg.

HDP – Pre-eclampsia (PE): Eclampsia is a dynamic disease with progressive and persistent progression.

Eclampsia can lead to systemic small vessel spasms, endothelial injuries and ischemia in pregnant women, a decrease in the perfusion of various organs in the whole-body system, causing harm to mother and infant and even lead to maternal and infant death.

PE is a state requiring active medical intervention, one of the purposes of which is to prevent the occurrence of eclampsia.

2. Who is prone to has HDP after pregnancy?

Pregnant women older than or equal to 40 years of age.

Pregnant women whose mother or sisters have history or family history of pre-eclampsia.

Pregnant women with hypertension.

Pregnant women with chronic nephritis.

Pregnant women with multiple pregnancies.

First-time pregnant women.

Pregnant women with an interpregnancy interval greater than or equal to 10 years.

Malnourished pregnant women.

Malnutrition, obesity or emotional instability may also lead to HDP in pregnant women.

3. Daily management recommendations for gestational hypertension patients

(1). Moderate exercise and reasonable rest.

(2). Reasonable diet, a salt restriction is not recommended.

(3). Calcium supplementation: pregnant women with low calcium intake (less than 600 mg per day) are recommended to supplement calcium with 1.5 to 2 g per day.

(4). Take aspirin no later than at 20 weeks and use routinely until 36 weeks or 5-10 days before termination of pregnancy.

(5). Take antihypertensive drugs if necessary.

4. How to treat HDP?

Monitor weight, blood pressure, urinary protein and systemic edema of pregnant women, for early detection, early diagnosis and early intervention.

HDP is a group of pregnancy-related diseases that cannot be cured during pregnancy and can only be alleviated to some extent. By the time the pregnancy is over, most conditions will gradually improve for recovery.

Therefore, the treatment of HDP during pregnancy aims at controlling the condition, prolonging the gestational week and ensuring the safety of mother and infant as much as possible. As for the mode and period of delivery, in the third trimester, the doctor assesses the condition of the pregnant woman and consults with the pregnant mother in order to decide.

5. Two common questions

(1). Is convulsion during pregnancy eclampsia?


Other diseases other than a cerebrovascular condition may also cause convulsions. Therefore, when convulsions occur, the doctor needs to know the medical history in detail. Conduct a thorough examination of the patient to exclude other possible diseases.

(2). Does eclampsia occur only in pregnant women with high blood pressure?


Most patients have high blood pressure at the outset and in a few cases it may occur in pregnant women whose blood pressure is not significantly elevated.

6. Several situations that are easily overlooked

(1). White coat hypertension:

This means that pregnant women come to the hospital with elevated blood pressure, but their blood pressure is normal when measured at home.

Some 50 percent of these pregnant women develop as gestational hypertension and eight percent develop as pre-eclampsia, which is definitely not caused by tension after seeing a doctor.

(2). Pregnant women with concealed hypertension and general hypertension also need attention. Some 20 percent of these pregnant women develop gestational hypertension and 20 percent develop pre-eclampsia.