Long-term prognosis of hypertension in pregnancy

Hypertens Pregnancy. 2000;19(2):199-209. doi: 10.1081/prg-100100136.


Objectives: To assess the prevalence of subsequent hypertension in women with hypertensive pregnancies and evaluate it according to the subclassifications of hypertension in pregnancy.

Methods: A survey was carried out in 476 women with hypertensive pregnancies (cases) and 226 normotensive controls delivered between 1973 and 1991 in a tertiary-level teaching hospital. They were invited to participate by mail and 273 cases (57%) and 86 controls (38%) completed the analysis. Outcomes assessed were prevalences of hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia, together with cardiovascular morbidity.

Results: Among responders, age and parity were similar in both groups although follow-up time was longer in controls. Subsequent hypertension was more frequent within cases. After excluding chronic and unclassifiable hypertension, the mean blood pressure was higher in all other forms of pregnancy hypertension (103 +/- 13 mm Hg versus 94 +/- 13 mm Hg, p < 0.001); long-term hypertension prevalence was 45% in cases and 14% in controls [odds ratio (OR) = 5.1; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 2.5-9.8; p < 0. 001]. There were no differences with respect to the prevalences of subsequent diabetes or hypercholesterolemia. Remote hypertension was more common following gestational hypertension (54%) than in preeclampsia (38%), eclampsia (14%), or normotensive cases (14%) (OR for gestational hypertension versus normotensives = 7.2; 95% CI = 3. 4-14.8, p < 0.001, and OR for preeclampsia versus normotensives = 3. 7; 95% CI = 1.7-7.9, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: After an average of 13. 6 years since the index pregnancy, women with hypertensive pregnancies have an increased risk of subsequent hypertension. Gestational hypertension is the hypertensive disorder of pregnancy with the highest incidence of subsequent hypertension. Women with preeclampsia have a greater tendency to develop hypertension than women with normotensive pregnancies. By contrast, women with eclampsia do not.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Spain / epidemiology