Main Article Content

Putative risk factors of pregnancy-induced hypertension among Ghanaian pregnant women

WKBA Owiredu
L Ahenkorah
CA Turpin
N Amidu
EF Laing


Hypertensive pregnancy is an important cause of maternal mortality with several risk factors which can be related to regional and ethnic factors. Although there have been many studies worldwide on preeclampsia, not many have come from black Africa and for that matter Ghana. This study sought to identify some putative risk factors of Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension among Ghanaian pregnant women. A case-control study was conducted among pregnant women visiting Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi, Ghana between November, 2006 and December, 2007 to determine the risk factors for Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension (PIH). Information on sociodemographic characteristics, medical history and previous obstetric history were obtained by facetoface interviews and assessed through medical records. One hundred PIH women (thirty with preeclampsia (PE) and seventy with gestational hypertension (GH) and fifty normotensive pregnant women (controls) in the second half of pregnancy were recruited for the study. Advanced maternal age was a significant risk for developing PIH (PE+GH). Obesity increased the risk of PIH. Family history of hypertension increased the risk of developing PIH (aOR 6.8; 95% CI 2.3-19.6). Nulliparity was not a risk factor for PE (cOR 0.0; 95% CI 0.0–0.2) but was a risk factor for GH (cOR 3.0; 95% CI 1.2-7.4) from this study. Condom use in the male partner, contraceptive use in females, change of partner as well as placental hormonal imbalance were also associated with PIH. The findings of this study suggest that, besides maternal aberrations posing risk for PIH, change of partner and placental roles could also be linked to the aetiology of PIH. Furthermore, some risk factors for PIH are similar for both non-African populations as well as black Africans.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2026-6294