While almost 10 per cent of pregnant women have hypertension, a new study suggests that should not worry them too much when it comes to their baby’s health.

An international team of physicians followed 987 pregnant women in 16 countries, 75 per cent of which suffered from hypertension. They randomly assigned them to either a  tight control of blood pressure group (target diastolic, blood pressure of 85 mm Hg) or a less-tight control group (target diastolic blood pressure of 100 mm Hg).

In the end, the doctors found no differences in the risk of pregnancy loss or maternal complications between the two groups of women. However, the women in the less-tightly control group were more at risk to develop severe hypertension.

Original research paper published in The New England Medicine Journal on January 28, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected authors

Laura A. Magee, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia