Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, such as gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia, and essential hypertension are associated with maternal and perinatal mortality. Gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and eclampsia occur when blood pressure reaches its threshold after 20 weeks of gestation, with the additional criteria of proteinuria for preeclampsia and of convulsive crisis for eclampsia. Blood pressure measurement, despite being the most useful technique for hypertension diagnosis, can lead to inadequate conclusions if essential technical standards are not followed. The purpose of this study was to compare the blood pressure of normotensive pregnant women during late pregnancy in both arms, in sitting position and left lateral positions.Design and method:
This is a cross-sectional study sampled 70 pregnant women averaging 25 years of age, during the antenatal care, and with gestational age between 28 to 39.5 weeks. The blood pressure was measured using mercury sphygmomanometer and in accordance with the 6th Brazilian Guidelines for Hypertension. Linear mixed-effects models were used to compare changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in different positions and arms.Results:
Systolic and diastolic blood pressure measured in the left lateral position were higher in the left arm than in the right arm (mean difference: 16.36 mmHg; 95%CI: 15.22, 17.50 and 24.57 mmHg; 95%CI: 23.24, 25.90, respectively). In the right arm the systolic and diastolic blood pressure measured were higher in the sitting position than in the left lateral position (mean difference: 14.90 mmHg; 95%CI: 13.76, 16.04 and 16.46 mmHg; 95%CI: 15.12, 17.79, respectively).Conclusions:
The findings indicate that blood pressure for normotensive pregnant women on the last trimester of pregnancy in the left lateral position present lower values for the right arm. The values for systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the left arm were similar to the ones produced in the sitting position.