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American Heart Association Themed Issue Journal Report: Journal Edition Dedicated to Women's Unique Hypertension Issues
Date:2/7/2008

They also support that pregnant women and those planning to become pregnant should avoid ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. Acceptable alternatives may include methyldopa, labetalol and nifedipine, in standard doses to manage hypertension in pregnancy.

Contact: Tiina Podymow, M.D., McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; (514) 934-1934 or tiina.podymow@muhc.mcgill.ca.

In a prospective study of 822 women with chronic hypertension, researchers in London identified 180 cases of preeclampsia (22 percent), with early onset preeclampsia accounting for nearly half of those. Of those women with preeclampsia, nearly half (48 percent) delivered small birthweight babies, while 51 percent of them delivered preterm, compared to 21 percent of women without preeclampsia having smaller babies and 15 percent of those women delivering preterm. According to the researchers, women with chronic hypertension should take special precautions before getting pregnant, including knowing their blood pressure, knowing of any family history of blood pressure problems during pregnancies, reducing their body mass index if it is elevated, quitting smoking and identifying any presence of renal disease.

Contact: Lucy Chappell, Ph.D., King's College, London School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, London, United Kingdom; +44 20 7188 3639 or lucy.chappell@kcl.ac.uk.

Researchers in the United Kingdom found that, while cigarette smoking in preeclamptic pregnancies further increases already present risks, stopping smoking can decrease the risks. A multicenter, cohort study of 1001 white Western European women and their babies found that, compared to those who never smoke, the women who currently smoked in this study were more likely to deliver before 34 weeks, more likely to deliver lower birthweight babies or have babies with an adverse outcome (i. e., admission to a specialty unit, de
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