Hypertension-related disorders of pregnancy remain among the most significant and intriguing unsolved problems of obstetric practice in India. Nearly 10 million women worldwide develop pregnancy-induced hypertension every year, more than 76,000 of whom die due to complications directly related to hypertension. About 50,000 of these deaths are from India alone! This was said by doctors at Vikram Hospital on the eve of World Hypertension Day that is observed on May 17 every year. The hospital also announced the opening of pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology department with NICU attached.
Said Dr N Venkatesh, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology, Vikram Hospital, Bengaluru: “The prevalence of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in Karnataka is around 6-8 percent, while for India as a whole, it is 7.8 percent. In fact, 30 percent of all mortality in pregnant women is due to complications related to hypertension. Five pregnant mothers die every hour in India due to this condition.”
Pregnancy-induced hypertension has negative effects for mother as well as fetus. Explained Dr Shashikala Ksheerasagar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Vikram Hospital: “Hypertension in pregnant women can lead to preterm birth, convulsions, restrictions in fetal growth, early separation of placenta from the uterus, protein in the urine, and chronic kidney disease. Fetus may suffer from asphyxia, prematurity, growth retardation and even death.”
Symptoms of pregnancy induced hypertension include swelling around the ankles, generalized swelling over face, abdomen or entire body, abnormal weight gain of over 2 kgs per week, headache and blurring of vision. Women getting pregnant for the first time, obese women, women pregnant with twins or triplets or those with a family history of hypertension are especially vulnerable