Objective: Vomiting in pregnancy is a common condition affecting 80% of pregnant women. Hyperemesis is at one end of the spectrum, seen in 0.5–2% of the pregnant population. Known factors such as nulliparity, younger age and high body mass indexare associated with an increased risk of this condition in the first trimester. Late pregnancy complications attributable to hyperemesis, the pathogenesis of which is poorly understood, have not been studied in large population-based studies in the United Kingdom. The objective of this study was to determine a plausible association between hyperemesis and pregnancy complications,such as pregnancy-related hypertension, gestational diabetes and liver problems in pregnancy, and the rates of elective (ElCS) and emergency caesarean section (EmCS).
Methods: Using a database based on ICD-10 classification, anonymised data of admissions to a large multi-ethnic hospital in Manchester, UK between 2000 and 2012 were examined.Notwithstanding the obvious limitations with hospital database-based research, this large volume of datasets allows powerful studies of disease trends and complications.Results Between 2000 and 2012, 156 507 women aged 45 or under were admitted to hospital. Of these, 1111 women were coded for hyperemesis (0.4%). A greater proportion of women with hyperemesis than without hyperemesis were coded forhypertensive disorders in pregnancy such as pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia (2.7% vs 1.5%;P=0.001). The proportion of gestational diabetes and liver disorders in pregnancy was similar for both groups (diabetes:0.5% vs. 0.4%; P=0.945, liver disorders: 0.2% vs. 0.1%;P=0.662). Hyperemesis patients had a higher proportion of elective and emergency caesarean sections compared with the non-hyperemesis group (ElCS: 3.3% vs. 2%; P=0.002, EmCS: 5% vs.3%; P=0.00).
Conclusions: There was a higher rate of emergency and elective caesarean section in women with hyperemesis, which could reflect the higher prevalence of pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders(but not diabetes or liver disorders) in this group. The factors contributing to the higher prevalence of hypertensive disorders arenot known, but these findings lead us to question whether there is a similar pathogenesis in the development of both the conditions and hence whether further study in this area is warranted.
Special Issue: Abstracts of the RCOG World Congress 2013, 24–26 June 2013, Liverpool (UK).