The prevalence of hypertensive complications of pregnancy in Dora Nginza Hospital, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
BACKGROUND: Hypertension and its complications is responsible for a significant proportion of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Dora Nginza Hospital, clinical experience has shown that hypertension and its complications are common but despite this assumption, the overall prevalence of complications, social and demographic characteristics and various forms of presentations of hypertension in pregnancy is still largely unknown. OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of complications, risk factors, social and demographic characteristics of hypertensive complications of pregnancy in Dora Nginza Hospital. STUDY DESIGN: The study is a retrospective descriptive study performed on medical records. The study was carried out by looking at records of patients admitted with hypertension in pregnancy over a 2 year period (2007-2008). MS Excel was used to capture the data and STATISTICA version 9 was used for data analysis. SETTING: Dora Nginza hospital, Port Elizabeth Hospitals Complex. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The incidence, risk factors, maternal complications, perinatal outcome. RESULTS: A total of 22,711 deliveries were recorded in Dora Nginza hospital over the two year period (2007-2008). 1520 cases were complicated by hypertension giving an incidence of hypertension as 6.69% (66.9 per 1000 deliveries). The incidence of pre eclampsia is 35.40% and chronic hypertension 2.80%. Maternal complications occurred in 40.29% of the hypertensive women. Maternal deaths occurred in 0.79% (790 per 100000 deliveries) accounting for 38.71% of the total maternal deaths in the facility. Poor neonatal outcome was recorded in 5.90% of these women. The 2.30% stillbirths represent 3.30% of all fetal deaths in the facility for the study period. Prominent risk factors are age, race, low socioeconomic status, smoking and BMI CONCLUSION: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in Dora Nginza hospital is common and is an important cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Improved socioeconomic status, quality obstetric services which include early booking, proper antenatal care, early referral and proper documentation can minimise the effect of hypertension on pregnancy.