Seasonal Variation in the Occurrence of Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension - A Ghanaian Study

  • W Owiredu
  • L Ahenkorah
  • N Amidu
  • C Turpin
  • E Laing

Abstract

Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension (PIH) is one of the leading causes of maternal, neonatal and infant mortality. Several studies have suggested that the occurrence of PIH may be dependent on environmental factors. Although, several countries have documented the prevalence of PIH, little is known about the occurrence and seasonal variations in the incidence of PIH in Ghana. This study was therefore conducted to assess whether seasonal variation has any effect on the prevalence of PIH. Between, 2006 and 2007, a retrospective observational hospital-based study was conducted at the Obstetric and Gynaecology Department of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) using pregnancies of gestational age more than 20 weeks. Maternal age, par-ity, birth weight and maternal death, occurrence of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, PIH and seasons were variables evaluated and analyzed using SAS System for windows, version 6.12. Of the total of 8,091 antenatal visits to the Hospital, 12.42% presented with PIH, 6.55% with preeclampsia whilst gestational hypertension was identified in 5.87% of pregnant women. The younger mothers as well as the older aged mothers were more prone to presenting with these conditions and delivery of low birth weight babies was more prevalent among these cohorts of women. The prevalence for all the above-mentioned conditions generally declined during the dry season. An association between the rainy season and increased incidence of hypertensive disor-ders of pregnancy was evident. The hypertensive condition was more prevalent among the ex-tremes of age and associated with the delivery of babies with low birth weight.
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