Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality in the US.
To conduct a targeted systematic review to update the evidence on the effectiveness of screening for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy to inform the US Preventive Services Task Force.
MEDLINE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for relevant studies published between January 1, 2014, and January 4, 2022; surveillance through February 21, 2023.
English-language comparative effectiveness studies comparing screening strategies in pregnant or postpartum individuals.
Data Extraction and Synthesis
Two reviewers independently appraised articles and extracted relevant data from fair-or good-quality studies; no quantitative synthesis was conducted.
Main outcomes and measures
Morbidity or mortality, measures of health-related quality of life.
The review included 6 fair-quality studies (5 trials and 1 nonrandomized study; N = 10 165) comparing changes in prenatal screening practices with usual care, which was routine screening at in-person office visits. No studies addressed screening for new-onset hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in the postpartum period. One trial (n = 2521) evaluated home blood pressure measurement as a supplement to usual care; 3 trials (total n = 5203) evaluated reduced prenatal visit schedules. One study (n = 2441) evaluated proteinuria screening conducted only for specific clinical indications, compared with a historical control group that received routine proteinuria screening. One additional trial (n = 80) only addressed the comparative harms of home blood pressure measurement. The studies did not report statistically significant differences in maternal and infant complications with alternate strategies compared with usual care; however, estimates were imprecise for serious, rare health outcomes. Home blood pressure measurement added to prenatal care visits was not associated with earlier diagnosis of a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (104.3 vs 106.2 days), and incidence was not different between groups in 3 trials of reduced prenatal visit schedules. No harms of the different screening strategies were identified.
Conclusions and Relevance
This review did not identify evidence that any alternative screening strategies for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were more effective than routine blood pressure measurement at in-person prenatal visits. Morbidity and mortality from hypertensive disorders of pregnancy can be prevented, yet American Indian/Alaska Native persons and Black persons experience inequitable rates of adverse outcomes. Further research is needed to identify screening approaches that may lead to improved disease detection and health outcomes.
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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Accepted for Publication: March 14, 2023.
Corresponding Author: Jillian T. Henderson, PhD, Kaiser Permanente Evidence-based Practice Center, Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, 3800 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97227 (Jillian.T.Henderson@kpchr.org).
Author Contributions: Dr Henderson had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: All authors.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Henderson, Webber, Vesco.
Drafting of the manuscript: Henderson.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Webber, Thomas, Vesco.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Webber, Thomas.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Vesco reported receiving grants from Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change Funding awarded to her institution for a project to develop and test a novel menopause curriculum for medial residents. No other disclosures were reported.
Funding/Support: This research was funded under contract 75Q80120D00004, Task Order 1, from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), US Department of Health and Human Services.
Role of the Funder/Sponsor: Investigators worked with USPSTF members and AHRQ staff to develop the scope, analytic framework, and key questions for this review. AHRQ had no role in study selection, quality assessment, or synthesis. AHRQ staff provided project oversight; reviewed the report to ensure that the analysis met methodological standards; and distributed the draft for peer review. Otherwise, AHRQ had no role in the conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; and preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript findings. The opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not reflect the official position of AHRQ or the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Additional Contributions: We gratefully acknowledge the following individuals for their contributions to this project: Iris R. Mabry-Hernandez, MD, MPH (AHRQ); current and former members of the USPSTF who contributed to topic deliberations; and Evidence-based Practice Center staff members Sarah I. Bean, MPH, Neon Brooks, PhD, and Melinda Davies, MAIS, for technical and editorial assistance at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. USPSTF members, peer reviewers, and federal partner reviewers did not receive financial compensation for their contributions.
Additional Information: A draft version of this evidence report underwent external peer review from 4 content experts (Kimberly D. Gregory, MD, MPH, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Laura A. Magee, MD, King’s College London; Alex Friedman Peahl, MD, MS, University of Michigan; Katherine Tucker, PhD, University of Oxford), and 3 federal partners (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health). Comments were presented to the USPSTF during its deliberation of the evidence and were considered in preparing the final evidence review.
Editorial Disclaimer: This evidence report is presented as a document in support of the accompanying USPSTF recommendation statement. It did not undergo additional peer review after submission to JAMA.
Credit Designation Statement: The American Medical Association designates this Journal-based CME activity activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to:
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