HealthDay News — The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy at each prenatal visit. This recommendation forms the basis of a final recommendation statement published in the September 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Jillian T. Henderson, PhD, from the Kaiser Permanente Evidence-based Practice Center in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to update the evidence on the effectiveness of screening for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. The review included 6 fair-quality studies, with 10,165 participants, which compared changes in prenatal screening practices to usual care (routine screening at in-person office visits). The researchers found that the studies did not report significant differences in maternal and infant complications in association with alternate strategies vs usual care; for serious, rare health outcomes, estimates were imprecise. Home blood pressure measurement added to prenatal care visits was not associated with earlier diagnosis of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. No difference in incidence was seen between the groups in 3 trials of reduced prenatal visit schedules.
Based on these findings, the USPSTF concludes that screening for hypertensive disorders in pregnancy with blood pressure measurements has substantial net benefit. Screening is recommended in asymptomatic pregnant persons throughout pregnancy (B recommendation).
“The task force continues to find that measuring blood pressure at each prenatal visit is an effective way to screen for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy,” USPSTF member Esa Davis, MD, MPH, said in a statement. “Because these conditions can cause serious health issues, screening is an important way to keep pregnant people and their babies healthy.”