chronic hypertension

An article published in The BMJ in 2017 studied the association of different lifestyle risk factors in the development of chronic hypertension among women previously diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension.

 

Lifestyle changes have been proven to reduce the risk of developing chronic hypertension in the general population. However, there have been few studies done which explore the effect of lifestyle risk factors on its development among women who were previously diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension.

In an article published in The BMJ this 2017, a group of researchers led by Simon Timpka did a study to determine the association between lifestyle risk factors and the development of chronic hypertension among women previously diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension (gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia). A total of 54,588 women between the ages of 32 and 59 who were previously diagnosed with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and without any co-morbid conditions such as chronic hypertension, stroke, or myocardial infarction were included in the study. Questionnaires were given to participants to determine lifestyle risk factors such as body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and diet. Participants were also asked if they have been diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension and were instructed to report in the questionnaires if there is a subsequent diagnosis of hypertension.

Results of the study showed that among the lifestyle risk factors examined, being overweight or obese was the only factor which was consistently associated with the development of chronic hypertension. Association of diet and physical activity to the development of chronic hypertension in patients previously diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension was not established.

Overall, the study has provided valuable information on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension. Women who were previously diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension should be advised to maintain a healthy weight to prevent the development of chronic hypertension.
Written by Karla Sevilla

Reference: Timpka, S., et al. (2017). Lifestyle in progression from hypertensive disorders in pregnancy to chronic hypertension in Nurses’ Health Study II: observational cohort study. BMJ.doi: 10.1136/bmj.j3024

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