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Early Pregnancy Systolic Blood Pressure Patterns Predict Early- and Later-Onset Preeclampsia and Gestational Hypertension Among Ostensibly Low-to-Moderate Risk Groups

Background Clinical risk factors, a single blood pressure (BP) measurement, current biomarkers, and biophysical parameters can effectively identify risk of early-onset preeclampsia but have limited ability to predict later-onset preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. Clinical BP patterns hold promise to improve early risk stratification for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Methods and Results After excluding preexisting hypertension, heart, kidney, or liver disease, or prior preeclampsia, the retrospective cohort (n=249 892) all had systolic BP <140 mm Hg and diastolic BP <90 mm Hg or a single BP elevation ≤20 weeks' gestation, prenatal care at <14 weeks' gestation, and a still or live birth delivery at Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals (2009-2019). The sample was randomly split into development (N=174 925; 70%) and validation (n=74 967; 30%) data sets. Predictive performance of multinomial logistic regression models for early-onset (<34 weeks) preeclampsia, later-onset (≥34 weeks) preeclampsia, and gestational hypertension was evaluated in the validation data set. There were 1008 (0.4%), 10 766 (4.3%), and 11 514 (4.6%) patients with early-onset preeclampsia, later-onset preeclampsia, and gestation hypertension, respectively. Models with 6 systolic BP trajectory groups (0-20 weeks' gestation) plus standard clinical risk factors performed substantially better than risk factors alone to predict early- and later-onset preeclampsia and gestational hypertension, with C-statistics (95% CIs) of 0.747 (0.720-0.775), 0.730 (0.722-0.739), and 0.768 (0.761-0.776) versus 0.688 (0.659-0.717), 0.695 (0.686-0.704) and 0.692 (0.683-0.701), respectively, with excellent calibration (Hosmer-Lemeshow P=0.99, 0.99, and 0.74, respectively). Conclusions Early pregnancy BP patterns up to 20 weeks' gestation plus clinical, social, and behavioral factors more accurately discriminate hypertensive disorders of pregnancy risk among low-to-moderate risk pregnancies. Early pregnancy BP trajectories improve risk stratification to reveal higher-risk individuals hidden within ostensibly low-to-moderate risk groups and lower-risk individuals considered at higher risk by US Preventive Services Task Force criteria.

Authors: Gunderson, Erica P;Greenberg, Mara;Sun, Baiyang;Goler, Nancy;Go, Alan S;Roberts, James M;Nguyen-Huynh, Mai N;Tao, Wei;Alexeeff, Stacey E

J Am Heart Assoc. 2023 Aug;12(15):e029617. Epub 2023-07-12.

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