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2008 to 2021 Saw Increase in Prevalence of Chronic HTN in Pregnancy

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During study period, use of antihypertensive medications was relatively stable for those with chronic hypertension

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 17, 2024 (HealthDay News) — For pregnant individuals, the prevalence of chronic hypertension more than doubled between 2008 and 2021, according to a study published online June 17 in Hypertension.

Stephanie A. Leonard, Ph.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues analyzed commercial insurance claims from 2007 to 2021 and assessed the prevalence of chronic hypertension during pregnancy and trends in oral antihypertensive medication use.

The researchers found that between 2008 and 2021, the prevalence of chronic hypertension increased steadily from 1.8 to 3.7 percent among 1,900,196 pregnancies. During the study period, antihypertensive medication use among those with chronic hypertension was relatively stable (57 to 60 percent). There was a decrease seen in the proportion of pregnant individuals with chronic hypertension treated with methyldopa or hydrochlorothiazide (from 29 to 2 percent and from 11 to 5 percent, respectively), and there was an increase seen in the proportion treated with labetalol or nifedipine (from 19 to 42 percent and from 9 to 17 percent, respectively). Following the 2017 American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association hypertension guidelines, there was no change observed in the prevalence or treatment of chronic hypertension during pregnancy.

“There were large shifts in the medications used to treat chronic hypertension in pregnancy, with labetalol supplanting methyldopa as the most commonly used antihypertensive medication,” the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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