Investigators: Professor Catherine Nelson-Piercy, Dr M Ching Soh, Dr Annette Briley, Jenny Carter, Professor Laura Magee (Vancouver), Hayley Tarft
Funding: Tommy’s funds Annette Briley
Summary: High blood pressure in pregnancy has risks for both mother and baby. However, there is no agreement about whether antihypertensive drugs should be given for non-severe hypertension in pregnancy. Some doctors treat mild to moderate hypertension whereas others only give medication once persistent severe hypertension develops. The CHIPS trial randomised women with mild to moderate hypertension to ‘tight’ blood pressure control or ‘less tight’ control. The pregnancy outcomes for mother and baby were examined to assess whether ‘tight’ or ‘less tight’ control has an influence.
Progress report: The results of this international study were published in 2015. The study found no significant differences between ‘tight’ and ‘less tight’ blood pressure control in the risk of pregnancy loss, need for high-level neonatal care, or overall maternal complications, although those in the ‘less tight’ group were significantly more likely to have severe maternal hypertension. The related CHIPS-CHILD study will follow up the children at the age of 1 year to ensure that the CHIPS intervention (‘less tight’ control of blood pressure) causes no harm to the child.
More individual research projects on pre-eclampsia
In addition to our core work on miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, Tommy’s also funds projects that research the effects of lifestyle and well-being on pregnancy and on the later life of the child.
When a baby dies after 24 weeks of gestation it is called a stillbirth. Around 2.6 million babies are stillborn each year. Tommy’s research is helping to change this.
Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK. These babies are vulnerable – they are born before they have grown to cope with the outside world. Tommy’s is saving lives by researching how we can prevent premature births by finding those at risk early on.
1 in 4 women experience miscarriage in their lifetimes, and 1 in 100 have 3 or more miscarriages in a row. We want to change this so that women no longer have to suffer the trauma of losing their babies.