Patient: My 26-year-old daughter, who eats well and runs marathons, has very high blood pressure. She is resistant to taking medication (she took it for a while, but then stopped), although she finally saw a doctor who is having her monitor her BP for a week before seeing her again. Even with medication, assuming that brings her BP down to normal levels, will pregnancy be extremely high risk for her? What other long-term dangers are there if she does or does not stay on medication? Is there much chance the high BP will ever go away?
Doctor: As far as the high blood pressure is kept under control, the risks during pregnancy may be reduced to as in normal pregn ancy. Depending on the extent of high blood pressure, the doctor would manage your daughter’s hypertension with either diet changes and exercise or medications or both. Once diagnosed with high blood pressure, it stays for life and regular treatment needs to be continued to maintain the pressure within the normal range. Inappropriate treatment may lead to complications like atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, renal disease, peripheral artery disease, hypertensive retinopathy affecting the eyes etc.