Published: 2017-01-25

Incidence of gestational hypertension among pregnant women (2006-2015) in Enugu State, Southeast Nigeria: a retrospective study

Emmanuel I. Umegbolu, John O. Ogamba


Background: Gestational hypertension (GHTN) is defined as a new rise in blood pressure (BP) ≥140/90 mm Hg, presenting at 20 weeks gestation without significant proteinuria. Worldwide, 4.4%-15% of all pregnancies are complicated by HTN. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of GHTN among pregnant women in Enugu State, Southeast Nigeria with a view to improving and strengthening antenatal services in the State to help reduce the proportion of maternal mortality and fetal outcomes attributable to GHTN and reduce the overall prevalence of HTN in the country.

Methods:Records of BP, biodata and laboratory investigations (urinalysis, full blood count) of women who attended antenatal clinics in six selected state hospitals (2006-2015) were examined. Data were analyzed as proportions, t-test, ANOVA and Pearson product moment correlations using Maxstat (version 3.60) statistical software.

Results: The overall incidence of GHTN was 5.9% with annual fluctuations with peaks in 2010 and 2014. There were significant differences in incidence among the age groups (<20 years, 20-35 years and >35 years) (p<0.0001) and between nulliparous and multiparous women (p=0.0016). There was positive, strong and significant correlation between age (20-35 years and >35 years) and GHTN (r=0.932, p=0.0069). Between parity and GHTN, there was also positive, strong and significant correlation (r=0.813, p=0.0491).

Conclusions:With an incidence of GHTN at 5.9%, there is need to improve and sustain adequate antenatal services in order to help reduce the proportion of the country’s maternal mortality attributable to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.


Blood pressure, Gestational, Hypertension, Multiparous, Nulliparous

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