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Study Reveals Link Between Hypertensive Pregnancy Disorders and Cardiovascular Mortality

A recent study published in the March issue of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology highlights the significant risk hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDPs) pose for pregnancy-associated mortality due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) from delivery up to one year postpartum.

Led by Rachel Lee from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the study examined data from approximately 33.4 million hospital deliveries identified from the Nationwide Readmissions Database spanning from 2010 to 2018.

The analysis revealed that the prevalence of HDP was 11.0 percent among the study population, with a pregnancy-associated mortality rate from CVD at 6.4 per 100,000 delivery hospitalizations, totaling 2,141 cases. Importantly, the rates of CVD-related pregnancy-associated mortality increased significantly with the severity of HDP, with eclampsia patients facing a more than 58-fold higher risk.

Furthermore, the study found that the risk of mortality due to stroke-related causes was notably higher compared to heart disease-related causes across all HDPs, underscoring the diverse impact of these disorders on maternal health.

The heightened risks for CVD-related mortality were observed not only at delivery but also persisted up to one year postpartum for all HDPs except for gestational hypertension.

The authors emphasize the importance of extending postpartum care beyond the traditional 42-day visit for individuals with pregnancies complicated by hypertension. Despite the relatively low absolute rates of pregnancy-associated mortality, the study underscores the critical need for comprehensive and extended postpartum care to mitigate the risks associated with HDPs.

This study serves as a vital contribution to understanding the long-term health implications of HDPs and underscores the urgency of tailored postpartum care strategies for individuals affected by these conditions.

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