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Curr Cardiol Rep. 2013 Nov;15(11):412. doi: 10.1007/s11886-013-0412-0.

The treatment of hypertension during pregnancy: when should blood pressure medications be started?

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Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA,


Hypertensive pregnancy disorders (HPD) are important causes of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. In addition, a history of HPD has been associated with an increased risk for maternal cardiovascular disease later in life, possibly because of irreversible vascular and metabolic changes that persist beyond the affected pregnancies. Therefore, treatment of HPD may not only improve immediate pregnancy outcomes, but also maternal long-term cardiovascular health. Unlike the recommendations for hypertension treatment in the general population, treatment recommendations for HPD have not changed substantially for more than 2 decades. This is particularly true for mild to moderate hypertension in pregnancy, defined as a blood pressure of 140-159/90-109 mm Hg. This review focuses on the goals of therapy, treatment strategies, and new developments in the field of HPD that should be taken into account when considering blood pressure targets and pharmacologic options for treatment of hypertension in pregnant women.

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