Treating chronic hypertension during pregnancy appears safe and effective

A person who is pregnant has their blood pressure taken.

Pregnant women in a study treated with medication for high blood pressure present before or during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, defined as chronic hypertension in pregnancy, had fewer adverse pregnancy outcomes compared to adults who did not receive antihypertensive treatment, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  

The study, which was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session and Expo, was funded by NHLBI and involved more than 2,400 pregnant women. Researchers found people who received medication to lower their blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg during early pregnancy were less likely to have a preterm birth or experience one of several severe pregnancy complications. The treatment did not impair fetal growth.     

“The study helps reassure that treating hypertension in pregnancy is safe and effective,” said Diane Reid, M.D., a program officer in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at NHLBI.  

Media Coverage

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine