Patients

World-First Pregnancy Study

A new study launched last month at St George Hospital will trial the best follow-up and lifestyle behaviour change strategies for women and their babies after experiencing a hypertensive disorder (high blood pressure) during pregnancy.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The world-first study is aiming to recruit 500 women, and will be performed at five hospitals across Sydney including St George Hospital, the Royal Hospital for Women, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Liverpool Hospital and Campbelltown Hospital.
  • Study participants will be assigned one of three pathways for ongoing care, including follow up with a GP, attending a postpartum clinic or participating in a lifestyle program.
  • Women and their babies will return to the hospital where they gave birth for further follow up and assessment six months after birth, and then at annual intervals from when their baby turns one.

Here’s what the experts are saying:

  • Study Chief Investigator, Dr Amanda Henry, said “many studies have demonstrated that although blood pressure will return to normal for most women after a hypertensive pregnancy, they have at least double the long-term risk of heart attack, stroke and developing diabetes, and triple the risk of chronic high blood pressure, compared to women who had an uncomplicated pregnancy”.
  • However, it is unknown whether monitoring or treatments in the first few years after a hypertensive pregnancy can improve health risks or outcomes for either a mother or her baby – The Blood Pressure Postpartum Study – or BP2 – is aiming to answer that question.

 

So, will it work:

  • Because hypertensive pregnancy identifies a group of relatively young women at higher risk of heart disease, the team of researchers are hopeful the study will identify effective interventions that can improve the future health of thousands of Australian women.

 

Key Insight: 

About one in 10 women in Australia have a hypertensive pregnancy, which equates to approximately 30,000 women affected annually.

Hypertensive disorders include preeclampsia, gestational hypertension or chronic hypertension.

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