Maternal and fetal outcome in women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: the impact of prenatal care

Ther Adv Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Aug;9(4):140-6. doi: 10.1177/1753944715597622. Epub 2015 Jul 27.


Background: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are the most important cause of maternal and fetal death and pregnancy complications in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to characterize the epidemiological profile of women with HDP admitted to a Brazilian tertiary reference hospital, and to evaluate maternal and fetal outcome in each HDP and the impact of prenatal care on the maternal and fetal outcome.

Methods: HDP in 1501 women were classified according to usual definitions as chronic hypertension (n = 564), pre-eclampsia (n = 579), eclampsia (n = 74) and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension (n = 284). Adverse maternal and fetal outcomes registered as maternal death and near miss and fetal outcomes documented as stillbirth, neonatal death and newborn respiratory complications were compiled. Prenatal care was classified as complete (⩾ 6 visits), incomplete (< 6 visits) or not done.

Results: Women with eclampsia were younger (15 years), 68% were on their first pregnancy, had higher blood pressure, higher mortality and greater number of near miss cases and their children had lower birth weight, higher intra-uterus and neonatal mortality, and more respiratory distress. Women with pre-eclampsia/eclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension and their fetuses had intermediate outcome and those with chronic hypertension and pre-eclampsia the better outcome among those with HDP. Women who had incomplete prenatal care or prenatal not done had progressive higher mortality rates and greater frequency of near miss cases, and their children had higher mortality rates.

Conclusion: In a tertiary reference hospital, eclampsia and chronic hypertension superimposed on pre-eclampsia are associated with a worst outcome for mothers and fetuses, whereas complete prenatal care is associated with a better maternal and fetal outcome in HDP.

Keywords: eclampsia; high-risk pregnancy; hypertension; pre-eclampsia; pregnancy; pregnancy complications; prenatal care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Eclampsia / mortality
  • Eclampsia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / epidemiology
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / mortality
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / therapy*
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / mortality
  • Pre-Eclampsia / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Young Adult