The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued a new recommendation stating that pregnant individuals should be screened for hypertensive disorders throughout pregnancy. This recommendation was awarded a B grade, indicating moderate certainty of moderate to substantial net benefit.
According to the USPSTF, measuring blood pressure at each prenatal visit is an effective way to screen for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. These conditions can have serious health implications for both the pregnant individual and the baby, making screening a vital aspect of prenatal care.
The recommendation applies to all pregnant women and individuals of all genders who do not have a known diagnosis of a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy or chronic hypertension. It aligns with the USPSTF’s previous recommendation in 2017 on screening for preeclampsia.
The recommendation is based on a targeted systematic review of evidence, which included 6 studies that compared changes in prenatal screening practices with usual care. These studies did not report statistically significant differences in maternal and infant complications with alternate screening strategies, although estimates for rare health outcomes were imprecise. There were also no reported harms associated with different screening strategies.
The USPSTF emphasizes that blood pressure measurement is the first step in addressing hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, but more research is needed to address the disparities faced by Black, Native American, and Alaska Native patients. Reducing risk factors, developing innovative screening and treatment methods, and ensuring that warning signs are recognized are all essential aspects of improving maternal health.
In summary, the USPSTF recommends screening for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy through blood pressure measurements at each prenatal visit. This screening is crucial for identifying and managing these conditions to ensure the health of the pregnant individual and their baby.
– US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy: US Preventive Services Task Force Final Recommendation Statement.
– US Preventive Services Task Force. Task Force Issues Final Recommendation Statement on Screening for Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy.
– Henderson JT, et al. Screening for Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy: Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force.
– Denoble AE, Pettker CM. Hypertension Screening in Pregnancy: Remembering the Basics, Charting the Future.