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Using Blood Pressure Values to Decrease Postpartum Readmissions

Evaluation of different blood pressure assessment strategies and cutoff values to predict postpartum hypertension-related readmissions: a retrospective cohort study 

Postpartum hypertension (high blood pressure in the first 42 days after delivery) is the leading reason for readmission to the hospital after a delivery stay. Current guidelines recommend starting medicines to lower blood pressure when a woman’s postpartum measurements are 150/100mmHg or higher on at least 2 occasions at least 4 hours apart in the first 4 days following delivery. However, these recommendations are largely based on expert opinion. In this study, researchers asked how well the blood pressure cutoff of 150/100mmHg can predict a patient needing to be readmitted for high blood pressure problems postpartum. The researchers analyzed a dataset of nearly 25,000 women and found that a blood pressure cutoff of measurements 140/90mmHg or higher was the most reliable predictor of postpartum readmissions for high blood pressure problems. Next steps should be to conduct more studies to test these new blood pressure cutoffs and determine if starting blood pressure lowering medicines at lower blood pressures can in fact help postpartum women avoid being readmitted to the hospital. 


About Research Roundup

Each quarter, our team of researchers reviews the most current studies related to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and selects those studies they feel will be of greatest interest to our community to summarize.

Special thanks to our volunteer research team, who under the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Sutton, make Research Roundup possible: Alisse Hauspurg, MD Felicia LeMoine, MD Jenny Sones, PhD, DVM, and Robin Trupp, PhD, RN.

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