Mercy OB/GYN Dr. Robert Atlas Discusses Dangers Of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

May 27, 2013
Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy Medical Center

Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy

Staying healthy during pregnancy can be a challenge because there are lots of risks and dangers, including high blood pressure, which researchers have now said can lead to health problems for moms later in life.

Julie Sullivan, 38, is 34 weeks pregnant with her third child. This time around, doctors are closely monitoring her because she is high-risk, and her blood pressure skyrocketed.

"On my third prenatal visit, I wasn't able to control it, and that's when the doctor said to me, 'We have to put you on medication,'" Sullivan said.

A new study from the National Institutes of Health suggests high blood pressure during pregnancy is a precursor to what will happen four or five years down the road.

"What this study showed is that any hypertension in pregnancy is associated with long-term consequences of hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease," said Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy Medical Center.

It's a wakeup call to women who develop hypertension during pregnancy.

"So, if you develop preeclampsia, it's a precursor that you need to watch your diet, watch your weight and take better care of yourself, because you have a marked increased risk of developing hypertension or have a heart attack that can lead to death," Dr. Atlas said.

While Sullivan was mostly concerned with a healthy pregnancy for now, she said the high blood pressure she is experiencing is a wakeup call to do everything she can to control her hypertension once the pregnancy is over.

"I'm going to try to live as stress-free as I can and eat healthy because I plan to breast feed the baby," she said.




Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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