Preconception blood pressure and risk of preterm birth A large historical cohort study in a Chinese rural population

We conducted a large-sample, historical study and identified a strong, independent, and linear relationship between preconception BP level and PTB in a Chinese rural reproductive-age population of women.

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Ying Yang, Ph.D., Yuan He, Ph.D., Qian Li, M.S., Yuanyuan Wang, Ph.D., Zuoqi Peng, M.D., Jihong Xu, Ph.D., Xu Ma, M.S.

Volume 104, Issue 1, Pages 124–130



To examine the relationship between preconception blood pressure (BP) and the risk of preterm birth (PTB) using a historical cohort of reproductive-aged women and girls from a Chinese rural population.


A historical cohort study established between 2010 and 2013 in People’s Republic of China.


Local family-planning service agencies and maternal–child care service centers.


A total of 367,425 reproductive-aged women and girls who participated in the National Free Pre-pregnancy Checkups in 2010–2012 and subsequently had a live birth before October 2013.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Incidence rates of PTB in reproductive-aged women and girls across preconception BP levels.


Preterm births were defined as babies born alive at 28 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Compared with the participants with a systolic BP of


Our results indicated a strong linear and independent relationship between BP levels and the risk of PTB in Chinese reproductive-aged women and girls. Maternal hypertension before pregnancy can significantly increase the risk of PTB.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.