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New Moms Need to Watch Out for High Blood Pressure

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TUESDAY, Feb. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- All new mothers should know the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure, even if they don't have a history of the condition, researchers say.

It's not uncommon for high blood pressure to occur after childbirth. If the high blood pressure isn't treated, women can be at risk for stroke and other serious problems. In some cases, it can result in death.

It's unclear what causes high blood pressure after childbirth -- called postpartum hypertension -- or who may develop it.

This study included 164 women who gave birth at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston from September 2016 to July 2019 and were readmitted with high blood pressure.

Nearly two-thirds (64.6%) of the women were readmitted within seven days, and 39% of those women were not diagnosed with high blood pressure before being discharged from the hospital after giving birth.

The study was presented recently at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, in Grapevine, Texas.

"Texas has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the nation. As clinicians, we're always looking for ways to tailor interventions so we can reduce deaths," said study author Dr. Conisha Holloman, a maternal-fetal medicine fellow with McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

"At our hospital, we noticed a lot of women were being readmitted after giving birth with high blood pressure, even when they didn't have a history of high blood pressure," Holloman said in a meeting news release.

"While clearly more research needs to be done on what causes high blood pressure after childbirth, what our study reveals is a strong need to educate all women -- not just those who may be at a higher risk -- about the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure before they are discharged," she concluded.

Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The Mayo Clinic has more on high blood pressure after childbirth.

SOURCE: Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, news release, Feb. 6, 2020

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