Chronic hypertension and gestational hypertension

Chronic hypertension occurs in 3-5% of pregnancies, although the incidence is increasing in the UK as maternal age increases. It is diagnosed by pre-existing hypertension or hypertension that occurs before 20 weeks' gestation, although the diagnosis may be masked by the normal slight fall in blood pressure that occurs in early pregnancy, and pre-eclampsia may rarely present earlier than 20 weeks. The risk of pre-eclampsia is approximately doubled, and there is also a greater risk of abruption and fetal growth restriction, but if the blood pressure is controlled women with chronic hypertension would be expected to have good outcomes.

Gestational hypertension describes hypertension after 20 weeks' gestation without any features of pre-eclampsia, and occurs in 6-7% of pregnancies. The risk of pre-eclampsia is increased slightly, this risk increasing the earlier the hypertension develops. Blood pressure usually returns to normal within 1-2 months of delivery.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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