Findings of Study on Hypotension and Pregnancy Outcomes

The findings of the study showed that women with low baseline diastolic blood pressure (less than 80mmHg) had a higher incidence of very premature birth and similarly, severe SGA (small for gestational age) increased with lower DBP.

However, the outcomes changed significantly when the women experienced excessive rise in blood pressure. This prompted further investigation into who the women were that experienced the poor pregnancy outcomes and this is what they discovered:

The subjects with low baseline DBP were:

· generally younger (26 years as opposed to 28 in the first study)

· shorter

· lighter

· leaner

· poorer

· more often minority

· gained less weight

All of these are well-known risks for poor pregnancy outcomes. When the authors of the study adjusted for race, socioeconomic status, pre-pregnancy body mass index, and smoking during pregnancy, low blood pressure was no longer associated with very preterm birth.

Likewise, after adjustments, low blood pressure was not associated with severe SGA. On the other hand, women with high baseline DBP and excessive rise in blood pressure (hypertensive) were at far greater risk for having a baby with severe SGA.

Results Indicate Hypotension Not the Cause of Poor Pregnancy Outcomes

The results indicated that the association between low blood pressure and poor pregnancy outcomes is due to what is termed confounding factors, meaning that the other factors present in the pregnancy were the culprits and not low blood pressure.

However, women with high blood pressure are at risk for a number of poor outcomes.

Low blood pressure during pregnancy is generally a common phenomenon. Low blood pressure by itself does not increase the risk of poor pregnancy outcomes in general; however, for specific women, it can be problematic.

Women who deal with intense symptoms of low blood pressure such as dizziness and fainting will need adequate medical care.

Learn about the effects of high blood pressure on pregnancy and the unborn baby by reading the article in this section.

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