Pattern and Factors Affecting the Outcome of Pregnancy

22 Jan



Hypertension (HTN) is the most common non-communicable disease in Nigeria. The crude prevalence rate for females is 11.2%, while the age-adjusted rate is 9.3%. HTN is also the most common medical disorder of pregnancy worldwide. It has been estimated that 5-10% of all pregnancies are complicated by HTN.

The hypertensive disorders of pregnancy fall into four main groups: a) chronic (pre-existing) HTN, b) gestational (de-novo) HTN, c) pre-eclampsia/ eclampsia and d) pre-eclampsia superimposed on chronic HTN. Chronic HTN on its own is estimated to occur in about 5% of pregnant women, and it is associated with increased rates of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes in both acute and on a long-term basis. Gestational HTN and pre-eclampsia/ eclampsia may lead to development of sustained HTN and stroke in later life and also increased risk of low birthweight and preterm deliveries. It has been observed that parous women have a higher mortality from HTN than nulliparous women. There are, however, indications that the incidence of transient severe HTN, antenatal hospitalization, proteinuria at delivery and neonatal respiratory distress syndrome may be decreased by normalizing the blood pressure (BP).

In addition, it has been suggested that age, parity, weight and race constitute important risk factors for both chronic HTN and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia. This study was, therefore, designed to examine the pattern of HTN and the prevalent risk factors in a pregnant population in Nigeria, the aim being to make recommendations for improved care in this population.
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