ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 202: Gestational Hypertension and Preeclampsia

Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy constitute one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal mortality worldwide. It has been estimated that preeclampsia complicates 2–8% of pregnancies globally (1). In Latin America and the Caribbean, hypertensive disorders are responsible for almost 26% of maternal deaths, whereas in Africa and Asia they contribute to 9% of deaths. Although maternal mortality is much lower in high-income countries than in developing countries, 16% of maternal deaths can be attributed to hypertensive disorders (1, 2). In the United States, the rate of preeclampsia increased by 25% between 1987 and 2004 (3). Moreover, in comparison with women giving birth in 1980, those giving birth in 2003 were at 6.7-fold increased risk of severe preeclampsia (4). This complication is costly: one study reported that in 2012 in the United States, the estimated cost of preeclampsia within the first 12 months of delivery was $2.18 billion ($1.03 billion for women and $1.15 billion for infants), which was disproportionately borne by premature births (5). This Practice Bulletin will provide guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia.

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