BACKGROUND: Being overweight is associated with both higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) during pregnancy and increased risk of gestational hypertensive disorders. The objective of this study was to determine and quantify the effect of body mass index (BMI) on mean arterial pressure (MAP) at several time points throughout pregnancy in normotensive (NT) and chronic hypertensive pregnant (HT) women. METHODS: A prospective longitudinal study was carried out in 461 singleton pregnancies (429 low-risk and 32 with chronic arterial hypertension), with measurements taken at the 1(st), 2(nd), and 3(rd) trimesters and at delivery. Linear mixed-effects regression models were used to evaluate the time-progression of BMI, SBP, DBP and MAP during pregnancy (NT vs. HT). The longitudinal effect of BMI on MAP, adjusted for the hypertensive status, was investigated by the same methodology. RESULTS: BMI consistently increased with time in both NT and HT women. In contrast, MAP decreased during the first half of pregnancy, after which it increased until the moment of delivery in both groups. A 5-unit increase in BMI was predicted to produce an increase of approximately 1 mmHg in population MAP values. This effect is independent from the time period and from hypertensive status. CONCLUSIONS: In both NT and HT pregnant women, MAP is strongly (and significantly) influenced by increases in BMI.
Guedes-Martins, L., Carvalho, M., Silva, C., Cunha, A., Saraiva, J., Macedo, F., … Rita Gaio, A. (2015). Relationship between body mass index and mean arterial pressure in normotensive and chronic hypertensive pregnant women: A prospective, longitudinal study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-015-0711-0