The terms pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia are often used interchangeably, which may cause significant confusion. Pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia and eclampsia should actually be considered as a spectrum of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.
Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) is defined as a rise in blood pressure above 140/90 on two or more occasions, at least 6 hours apart. It occurs in the second half of pregnancy (usually after 20 weeks of gestation) in a woman who previously had normal blood pressure. There are no other associated symptoms.
PIH in and of itself has no deleterious effect on pregnancy, and the blood pressure returns to normal levels by 6 weeks after delivery. However, new onset of hypertension in the late second or early third trimester is regarded potentially as an early sign of preeclampsia.
The important aspect of care in PIH is close monitoring of the blood pressure levels and the development of any other symptoms that may indicate the onset of preeclampsia. Medications to lower blood pressure in PIH are usually not required and are generally avoided due to risks of harm to the developing fetus by many anti-hypertensive preparations.
The Medifocus Guide on Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of pregnancy-induced hypertension?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing pregnancy-induced hypertension?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of pregnancy-induced hypertension?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of pregnancy-induced hypertension?
What treatment options are available for the management of pregnancy-induced hypertension?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in pregnancy-induced hypertension?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for pregnancy-induced hypertension?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about pregnancy-induced hypertension?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Same nutrient, different hypotheses: disparities in trials of calcium supplementation during pregnancy. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000
Dietary calcium and pregnancy-induced hypertension: is there a relation?. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000
Drugs for rapid treatment of very high blood pressure during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews [computer file]. 2000
Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for preventing hypertensive disorders and related problems. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews [computer file]. 2000
Management of hypertension in pregnancy. 1999
Hypertension in pregnancy: a potential window into long-term cardiovascular risk in women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 1999
Triage and management of the pregnant hypertensive patient. Journal of Nurse-Midwifery. 1999
Calcium supplementation in pregnancy to prevent pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH). Journal of Perinatal Medicine. 1998
Hypertension in pregnancy and preeclampsia--diagnosis and treatment. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology - Supplement. 1998
Hypertension in women with gestational diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1998
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