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Hypertension and Pregnancy: Management and Future Risks

      Pregnancy-induced hypertension is a major cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. The overall strategies of defining and managing these conditions are aimed at preventing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular complications in the mother without jeopardizing fetal well-being. Our understanding of the origin of these disorders is evolving. Women with chronic hypertension should undergo a prepregnancy evaluation and close monitoring during and after pregnancy to ensure medication safety and to prevent end-organ damage. Based on available data, the current recommendation is that antihypertensive therapy should be initiated only in women with severe hypertension (defined as systolic blood pressure ≥160 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥105 mm Hg). It is now becoming more and more clear that hypertensive complications during pregnancy are potentially linked to cardiovascular, kidney, and metabolic diseases later in life. This review discusses the spectrum of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, general management principles, and the need to monitor for long-term cardiovascular sequelae for decades afterward.

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