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08 November 2019

Team awarded clinical paper of the year for hypertension in pregnancy research

Award from the journal Hypertension recognises paper analysing data from the Control of Hypertension in Pregnancy Study (CHIPS)

Laura Magee recieveing her award

Research led by Professor Laura Magee and the Department of Women & Children’s Health was awarded the ‘Clinical Paper of the Year’ from the journal Hypertension for their paper, ‘Influence of Gestational Age at Initiation of Antihypertensive Therapy - Secondary Analysis of CHIPS Trial Data’.

The paper compared the effectiveness of ‘less tight’ versus ‘tight’ blood pressure (BP) control in improving pregnancy outcomes among women with non-severe, non-proteinuric chronic or gestational hypertension at 14 to 33 weeks of pregnancy.

In this paper, the authors found that there is no gestational age at which choosing ‘less tight’ control is better than choosing ‘tight’ control of hypertension in pregnancy. It is better for the mother to have BP controlled in pregnancy (aiming for a diastolic BP of 85mmHg). This approach does not increase the risk to baby because any effects of antihypertensive therapy on fetal growth are balanced by an opposite effect on earlier birth.

The analysis provides an overall assessment of the implications of treating hypertension in pregnancy, encouraging clinicians to move away from a focus only on fetal growth which of course is but one pathway to adverse perinatal outcomes.

These findings are exciting because they highlight that we should treat hypertension in pregnancy with antihypertensive therapy. We have explained why any potential effect of antihypertensive agents on fetal growth is counterbalanced by earlier birth, so control of mothers’ BP in pregnancy is better for mothers without increasing risk for babies.

Professor Laura Magee

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Laura Magee

Professor of Women's Health