Chronic high blood pressure rates rise during pregnancy, study finds

The number of U.S. individuals with chronic high blood pressure during pregnancy doubled between 2008 and 2021, according to a study published this week in Hypertension. However, only about 60% of individuals with the condition received medication to treat it. Through analyzing private health insurance claims from 2007 to 2021, the researchers found high blood pressure diagnosis rates increased from 1.8% to 3.7% among 1.9 million pregnancies between 2008 and 2021. They concluded practitioners should follow the American Heart Association’s guidelines for accurate diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure before and during pregnancy. The increase may be due to a larger number of pregnant people ages 35 and older. Chronic high blood pressure is associated with maternal and infant mortality. (American Heart Association news release, 6/17/24)