It is a well established fact that age, ethnicity, weight, and lifestyle behaviors can affect blood pressure (BP). Co-morbid conditions such as HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets), pre-eclampsia, and previous hypertension diagnosis might also be risks for chronic hypertension among women who have had children. Although parity has been linked to changes in blood pressure in White women, these findings have not been replicated among African-American women. The purpose of this study was to determine if the number of pregnancies urban African-American women have effects BMI and blood pressure readings later in life. Results indicated that women with a previous diagnosis of hypertension had higher SBP and DBP, and a slightly higher BMI than women who had never been diagnosed. Additionally, women with a prior history of hypertension had more children than those without a diagnosis of hypertension. As parity increased, SBP increased. However, DBP decreased after 3 to 4 children, even with increases in BMI. This study shows that parity may increase African-American women's risk for hypertension in terms of increased SBP and BMI with increased parity. However, increased parity and BMI may also serve as protective factors in lowering DBP. Further studies, with larger samples followed throughout their pregnancies, is needed before more definitive statements may be drawn about the effects of parity on BMI and blood pressure readings among African-American women can be made.
|Number of pages
|Journal of National Black Nurses' Association : JNBNA
|Published - Dec 2008
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Medicine