Control of hypertension in pregnancy (the CHIPS study)

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.

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.

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