Maternal hypertension after a low-birth-weight delivery differs by race/ethnicity: evidence from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2006.

Research paper by Jia J Xu, Emma E Barinas-Mitchell, Lewis H LH Kuller, Ada O AO Youk, Janet M JM Catov

Indexed on: 06 Aug '14Published on: 06 Aug '14Published in: PloS one


Studies have suggested an increase in maternal morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases in women with a prior low-birth-weight (LBW, <2,500 grams) delivery. This study evaluated blood pressure and hypertension in women who reported a prior preterm or small-for-gestational-age (SGA) LBW delivery in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2006 (n = 6,307). This study also aimed to explore if race/ethnicity, menopause status, and years since last pregnancy modified the above associations. A total of 3,239 white, 1,350 black, and 1,718 Hispanics were assessed. Linear regression models were used to evaluate blood pressure by birth characteristics (preterm-LBW, SGA-LBW, and birthweight ≥2,500). Logistic regression models estimated the odds ratios (OR) of hypertension among women who reported a preterm-LBW or SGA-LBW delivery compared with women who reported an infant with birthweight ≥2,500 at delivery. Overall, there was a positive association between a preterm-LBW delivery and hypertension (adjusted OR = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.90). Prior SGA-LBW also increased the odds of hypertension, but the estimate did not reach statistical significance (adjusted OR = 1.21, 95% CI 0.76-1.92). Race/ethnicity modified the above associations. Only black women had increased risk of hypertension following SGA-LBW delivery (adjusted OR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.12-3.90). Black women were at marginally increased risk of hypertension after delivery of a preterm-LBW (adjusted OR = 1.49, 95% CI 0.93-2.38). Whites and Hispanics had increased, but not statistically significant, risk of hypertension after a preterm-LBW (whites: adjusted OR = 1.39, 95% CI 0.92-2.10; Hispanics: adjusted OR = 1.22, 95% CI 0.62-2.38). Stratified analysis indicated that the associations were stronger among women who were premenopausal and whose last pregnancy were more recent. The current study suggests that in a representative United States population, women with a history of preterm- or SGA-LBW deliveries have increased odds of hypertension and this risk appears to be higher for black women and younger women.