The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued draft recommendations calling for blood pressure to be regularly checked in pregnant patients starting early on and continuing throughout pregnancy, amid concerns of increasing maternal mortality.
Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy have doubled in prevalence over the past three decades and are a leading cause of death among Black women, with maternal mortality rates three times higher than among white women.
Women of color were underrepresented in most clinical trials that tested screening regimens for these disorders. The task force calls for better support for pregnant women of color and for doctors to be aware of increased risks to help “focus clinical energy and resources.”
It also recommends low-dose aspirin starting at 12 weeks gestation for women at heightened risk, including those with pre-existing conditions, over 35 or under 15, and those pregnant for the first time.