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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Resource Overview

High blood pressure (hypertension) poses health risks for women at any stage of life. It affects the blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. During pregnancy, high blood pressure can lead to disorders, such as preeclampsia, that pose serious health dangers for both mother and baby. As leaders in women’s health care, ob-gyns play a leading role in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of high blood pressure in women.

Here is a list of key publications and resources for ob-gyns, other women’s health care providers, and patients that are available from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other sources. 

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Resources for Ob-Gyns and Women’s Health Care Providers
Resources for Women and Patients 

Resources for Ob-Gyns and Women’s Health Care Providers

Task Force Report on Hypertension in Pregnancy

The “Task Force Report on Hypertension in Pregnancy,” issued by ACOG on November 14, 2013, provides evidence-based recommendations for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The report concludes that preeclampsia can be diagnosed without high levels of protein in the urine (proteinuria). It recommends daily low-dose aspirin to help prevent preeclampsia in very high-risk women, and the use of magnesium sulfate for severe preeclampsia, eclampsia, or HELLP syndrome.

Committee Opinion: Preparing for Clinical Emergencies in Obstetrics and Gynecology

“Preparing for Clinical Emergencies in Obstetrics and Gynecology,” issued by ACOG in March 2014, discusses ob-gyn preparation for clinical emergencies, including inpatient ones, to reduce maternal morbidity. Triggers for these procedures include thresholds (both high and low) for systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.

Committee Opinion: Emergent Therapy for Acute-Onset, Severe Hypertension With Preeclampsia or Eclampsia

“Emergent Therapy for Acute-Onset, Severe Hypertension During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period,” issued by ACOG in February 2015, offers guidelines for providers and determines that severe hypertension (systolic of 160 mm HG or higher, or diastolic of 110 mm HG or higher) that lasts more than 15 minutes in both pregnant and postpartum women with preeclampsia or eclampsia is a hypertensive emergency. It is a major predictor to cerebral hemorrhage and, if not treated quickly and appropriately, can lead to maternal death. The report provides medical protocols for treatment.

 


Resources for Women and Patients

Patient FAQ: Managing High Blood Pressure

“Managing High Blood Pressure,” issued by ACOG in March 2015, explains how high blood pressure (hypertension) affects the blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. It covers ways to lower blood pressure through lifestyle changes, including weight loss and exercise, and describes medical treatments.

Patient FAQ: Preeclampsia and High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

“Preeclampsia and High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy,” issued by ACOG in August 2011, was developed for patients who have questions about high blood pressure in pregnancy, chronic high blood pressure, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia.

Patient FAQ: Heart Health for Women

“Heart Health For Women,” issued by ACOG in August 2011, is designed to answer patient questions about how heart disease affects women. It provides information on the risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure.

 

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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