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Aspirin cuts pregnancy hypertension

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Pregnant women suffering from high blood pressure or who are at risk of developing the condition could overcome the problem by taking a daily dose of aspirin, according to NICE.

Around 20 women die every year due to conditions linked with high blood pressure, such as pre-eclampsia, which affects 5% of first-time mothers.

One in 10 women suffers from high blood pressure during pregnancy, while a small number of soon-to-be mothers have the problem before they become pregnant.

NICE has recommended that women with high blood pressure who are at moderate to high risk of pre-eclampsia take a low dose (75mg) of aspirin, taken daily from the 12th week of pregnancy until birth.

Aspirin is not routinely given to pregnant women and NICE hopes the advice will ensure consistent standards across the country.

The guideline warns against giving women drugs called angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers, which can increase the risk of congenital abnormalities if taken during pregnancy.

Education and professional development advisor at the Royal College of Midwives Gail Johnson said: “Midwives are seeing an increase in maternal obesity and older women becoming pregnant; this means that midwives and doctors are seeing more women at risk of, or with hypertensive disorders.

“The guideline will provide professionals with recommended pathways and treatment options to help to minimize the health risks associated with a raised blood pressure.”

 

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