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Preventing heartbreak after hypertensive pregnancy

South-Eastern Sydney Local Health District & University of New South Wales

Grant:
  • Cardiovascular Early-Mid Career Researcher Grant
Date Funded:
  • 1 February, 2022
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Associate Professor Amanda Henry

Project Summary

Tracking women’s health and closing knowledge gaps of women and healthcare providers to improve heart health after high blood pressure pregnancy.

The main researcher for this project is Associate Professor Amanda Henry.

What is the issue for NSW?

High blood pressure diseases affect at least 1 in 20 NSW pregnancies. This is over 4000 NSW mothers, including their babies, every year.

High blood pressure in pregnancy has lasting effects on a mother’s health, including at least double the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and type 2 diabetes – 3 of the top 10 killers of NSW women.

These are not remote risks of old age. They are present within 5 to 10 years of a pregnancy complicated by high blood pressure and are further increased in those with additional risk factors, such as smoking. These conditions continue throughout the patient’s life.

However, current knowledge of these issues is low amongst affected women and their healthcare providers, and early intervention and education programs to improve women’s ongoing heart health after high blood pressure pregnancy are lacking.

What does the research aim to do and how?

This project will

  1. Undertake local implementation and assessment for education programs on health after high blood pressure for both affected women and their healthcare providers, with the primary aim of NSW-wide scale-up
  2. Follow-up a group of mothers and their children who participated in an early intervention/improving heart health after high blood pressure pregnancy study. This includes studying their ongoing health 3 to 5 years after pregnancy and ongoing effects of the early intervention program.