What is the prevalence of chronic hypertension during pregnancy?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018
  • Author: Michael P Carson, MD; Chief Editor: Edward H Springel, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Answer

Chronic hypertension is a primary disorder in 90-95% of cases and may be either essential (90%) or secondary to some identifiable underlying disorder, such as renal parenchymal disease (eg, polycystic kidneys, glomerular or interstitial disease), renal vascular disease (eg, renal artery stenosis, fibromuscular dysplasia), endocrine disorders (eg, adrenocorticosteroid or mineralocorticoid excess, pheochromocytoma, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, growth hormone excess, hyperparathyroidism), coarctation of the aorta, or oral contraceptive use. About 20-25% of women with chronic hypertension develop preeclampsia during pregnancy. [8]

Chronic hypertension occurs in up to 22% of women of childbearing age, with the prevalence varying according to age, race, and body mass index (BMI). Population-based data indicate that approximately 1% of pregnancies are complicated by chronic hypertension, 5-6% by gestational hypertension (without proteinuria), and 3-6% by preeclampsia. [9, 7]


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