Demographic and Clinical Predictors of Postpartum Blood Pressure Screening Attendance

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2022 Mar;31(3):347-355. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2021.0161. Epub 2021 Oct 4.


Background: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) cause substantial preventable maternal morbidity and mortality. Postpartum hypertension that worsens after women are discharged is particularly dangerous, as it can go undiagnosed and cause complications. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends women with HDP undergo blood pressure (BP) screening 7-10 days after delivery to detect postpartum hypertension. This study aimed to describe predictors of postpartum BP screening attendance among a high-risk safety-net population in Atlanta, Georgia. Materials and Methods: We conducted a population-based cohort study of pregnant women who delivered at a large public hospital in Atlanta between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018. We manually abstracted demographic and clinical data from electronic medical records and used multivariable log binomial regression to estimate adjusted risk ratios (aRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for associations with BP screening attendance. Results: Of 1260 women diagnosed with HDP, 13.7% attended a BP screening visit within 10 days of delivery. Women with preeclampsia with severe features were more likely to attend a BP visit than women with gestational hypertension (aRR 2.10, 95% CI 1.35-3.27). Rates of BP screening attendance were lower for women with inadequate (aRR 0.42, 95% CI 0.26-0.67) and intermediate (aRR 0.40, 95% CI 0.21-0.74) prenatal care utilization relative to women with adequate utilization. Conclusions: Among a high-risk safety-net population with HDP, most women did not attend a BP screening visit within 10 days of delivery. Addressing this gap requires further research and creative solutions to address barriers at the individual, provider, and system levels.

Keywords: gestational hypertension; hypertension; hypertensive disorders of pregnancy; preeclampsia.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced* / epidemiology
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pre-Eclampsia* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy