Women with a history of hypertensive pregnancy disorders have an increased risk for hypertension years after their affected pregnancies. The objective was to determine the association between hypertensive diseases of pregnancy and the development of hypertension in later life.Design and Method:
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 511 female administrators aged 30–60 years whom were ever pregnant, attached to Public Administration offices in Colombo District in Sri Lanka. A self-administered-questionnaire gathered information on socio-demographic, work-related information, lifestyle-practices, and medical history. Blood pressure (BP), anthropometry, biochemical parameters were recorded. BP was measured adhering to American-Heart-Association guidelines and hypertensive status was defined if an already diagnosed hypertensive and/or on treatment or with a current systolic BP of ≥140 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mmHg. Hypertensive diseases in pregnancy were classified based on ACOG Task Force classification; data pertaining to which was gathered using interviewer-administrated-questionnaire. Hypertensive status and the elevated risk associated with pregnancy-related hypertension were estimated using generalized linear modeling.Results:
Mean age of the study participants was 42.3 (SD ± 8.5) years. Seventy-seven (15.1%) females had suffered from hypertensive diseases of pregnancy; of which 43 (8.4%) had gestational hypertension. Of the females who hypertensive diseases of pregnancy; 52 (67.5%) suffered during their first pregnancy while 22 (28.5%) women suffered in their subsequent pregnancies. After adjustment for a range of potentially confounding factors (figure 1), pregnancy related hypertension was associated with a higher risk of later life hypertension among female administrators [incident rate ratio (IRR) 1.55[95% CI; 1.03, 2.4].Conclusions:
Hypertensive diseases during pregnancy are associated with later life hypertension. It is recommended that lifestyle modification to be commenced and periodically evaluation for the most high-risk women. By raising awareness of the condition, earlier diagnosis and improved management, and thereby reducing morbidity and mortality from hypertension related diseases among females could be achieved.