What blood pressure (BP) levels increase health risks for pregnant women?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

In normal pregnancy, women’s mean arterial pressure (MAP) drops 10-15 mm Hg over the first half of pregnancy. Most women with mild chronic hypertension (ie, systolic BP 140-160 mm Hg, diastolic BP 90-100 mm Hg) have a similar decrease in BP and may not require any medication during this period. Conversely, diastolic BP greater than 110 mm Hg has been associated with an increased risk of placental abruption and intrauterine growth restriction, and systolic BP greater than 160 mm Hg increases the risk of maternal intracerebral hemorrhage.


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