Population reference and healthy standard blood pressure range charts in pregnancy: findings from the Born in Bradford cohort study

Publication authors

Gillian Santorelli, Debbie A. Lawlor, Jane West, Derek Tuffnell & Diane Farrar


Women who develop gestational hypertension are at increased risk of adverse perinatal and longer-term outcomes. Reference charts may aid early detection of raised blood pressure (BP) and in doing so reduce adverse outcome risk. We used repeated BP measurements to produce ‘reference’ (whole population) and ‘standard’ (healthy pregnancies only) gestational-age-specific BP charts for all pregnant women (irrespective of ethnicity) and for White British (WB) and Pakistani (P) women. We included 9218 women recruited to the Born in Bradford study with 74,770 BPs. 19% of the whole population, 11% and 25% of WB and P women respectively were defined as healthy pregnancies. For reference and standard charts, for all women and each ethnic group, SBP/DBP at 12 and 20 weeks gestation was similar before rising at 37 weeks. DBP/SBP of reference charts for all women and for each ethnic group were higher than those of the corresponding standard charts. Compared to WB, P women had lower SBP/DBP at 12, 20 and 37 weeks gestation. To conclude; maternal population BP reference charts are higher compared to standard charts (healthy pregnancies) and are influenced by ethnicity.