Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy

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Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are one of the most commonly occurring complications of pregnancy and include chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, and pre-eclampsia. New developments in early pregnancy screening to identify women at high risk for pre-eclampsia combined with targeted aspirin prophylaxis could greatly reduce the number of affected pregnancies. Furthermore, recent advances in the diagnosis of pre-eclampsia, such as placental growth factor based testing, have been shown to improve the identification of those pregnancies at highest risk of severe complications. Evidence from trials has refined the target blood pressure and timing of delivery to manage chronic hypertension and pre-eclampsia with non-severe features, respectively. Importantly, a wealth of epidemiological data now links HDP to future cardiovascular disease and diabetes decades after an affected pregnancy. This review discusses the current guidelines and research data on the prevention, diagnosis, management, and postnatal follow-up of HDP. It also discusses the gap in knowledge regarding the long term risks for cardiovascular disease following HDP and illustrates the importance of improving adherence to postnatal guidelines to monitor hypertension and the need for more research focused on primary prevention of future cardiovascular disease in women identified as being at high risk because of HDP

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