Friday December 13, 2019

Rate of Blood Pressure among Pregnant Women Aged 35 and Over in US Increases by More than 75%

Women are having children later than in the 1970s and 1980s - and are experiencing higher rates of hypertension during pregnancy as a result

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Blood Pressure, Pregnant, Women
In the study, published in the journal Hypertension, researchers looked at the pregnancies of more than 151 million women in the US between 1970-2010. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that the rate of blood pressure (chronic hypertension) among pregnant women aged 35 and over in the US has increased by more than 75 per cent since 1970, according to a new research.

In the study, published in the journal Hypertension, researchers looked at the pregnancies of more than 151 million women in the US between 1970-2010.

“Women are having children later than in the 1970s and 1980s – and are experiencing higher rates of hypertension during pregnancy as a result,” said the study led by author and Indian origin researcher Cande V. Ananth from Rutgers University.

According to the researchers, advanced maternal age was associated with the increase, with the rate of chronic hypertension increasing on an average by six per cent per year, 13 times what it was in 1970.

Blood Pressure, Pregnant, Women
Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that the rate of blood pressure (chronic hypertension) among pregnant women aged 35 and over in the US has increased. Pixabay

Prior research has shown that compared with white women, black women have higher rates of obesity, are more likely to smoke and use drugs and are at greater social disadvantage, all of which may contribute to an increased risk of chronic hypertension.

“The best outcome would be to control hypertension before becoming pregnant by reducing obesity, quitting smoking, adopting an overall healthier lifestyle before and during pregnancy, and treating high blood pressure effectively. For every 1-2 lbs. lost prior to pregnancy, blood pressure is reduced,” Ananth said.

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“Not only do these findings have implications for the health of the women and newborns during pregnancy, they have lasting implications on future risks of cardiovascular and stroke risks in women later in life,” he added. (IANS)

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Instagram Helps Women to Overcome Miscarriage Distress: Study

The extent to which this loss affects women and their families, and the longevity of their grief is a blind spot for clinicians

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Instagram
As far as we know, this is the first study to look at the intersection of Instagram and miscarriage. Pixabay

Despite its common occurrence, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding miscarriage and many women find that their emotional and psychological needs are unmet as they go through a devastating grieving process. But for some, Instagram has emerged as a tool to cope with such distress, a study says.

The study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that the content posted by Instagram users included rich descriptions of the medical and physical experiences of miscarriage, and the emotional spectrum of having a miscarriage and coping with those emotions, the social aspect, and family identity.

“I find it endlessly fascinating that women are opening up to essentially strangers about things that they hadn’t even told their partners or families,” says Dr. Riley. “But this is how powerful this community is,” said Amy Henderson Riley, Assistant Professor at the Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, US.

The findings are based on a qualitative research study on 200 posts of text and pictures shared by Instagram users.

“What surprised me the most was how many women and their partners identified as parents after their miscarriage and how the miscarriage lasted into their family identity after a successful pregnancy,” said Rebecca Mercier, Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University.

“The extent to which this loss affects women and their families, and the longevity of their grief is a blind spot for clinicians,” Mercier said.

These personal accounts also provided insight into patients’ perspectives of typically defined experiences.

For example, in the clinic, the typical definition of recurrent pregnancy loss is after three pregnancies. However, the researchers found that many patients who had had two or more miscarriages identified with having recurrent pregnancy loss.

Instagram
Despite its common occurrence, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding miscarriage and many women find that their emotional and psychological needs are unmet as they go through a devastating grieving process. But for some, Instagram has emerged as a tool to cope with such distress, a study says. Pixabay

“I’m hoping that this study will encourage clinicians to point patients to social media as a potential coping tool, as well as to approach this subject with bereaved and expecting parents with more respect and empathy,” Mercier said.

Social media is becoming a common avenue for patient testimonials. For example, the short video-sharing platform TikTok has recently become a home for some users to make videos sharing their personal health struggles.

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“As far as we know, this is the first study to look at the intersection of Instagram and miscarriage,” Riley said.

“But this is a drop in the bucket. Social media platforms are evolving rapidly and a theoretically grounded research must follow,” she added. (IANS)