Inducing labor improves maternal outcomes in mild hypertensive disease

Women with mild hypertensive disease who undergo induction of labor at 37 weeks or more have a lower risk of poor outcome.

Women experiencing mild hypertensive disease during pregnancy who undergo induction of labor at 37 weeks' gestation or beyond are at a 29% lower risk of a poor outcome, according to a study published online August 4 in the The Lancet.

Corine M. Koopmans, MD, of University Medical Centre in Groningen, Netherlands, and colleagues randomized 756 patients with gestational hypertension or mild preeclampsia to undergo either induction of labor or expectant monitoring. Women were between 36 and 41 weeks' gestation.

The investigators found that maternal outcomes were improved with the induction of labor. A poor maternal outcome was observed in significantly fewer patients randomized to induction of labor compared with expectant monitoring (31% vs. 44%). There was no significant difference in the number of cesarean sections performed in each group, and adverse neonatal outcomes did not differ.

Koopmans CM, Bijlenga D, Groen H, et al. Induction of labour versus expectant monitoring for gestational hypertension or mild pre-eclampsia after 36 weeks' gestation (HYPITAT): a multicentre, open-label randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2009; Early Online Publication, 4 August 2009. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60736-4.

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