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High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy: How Common Is It and How Is It Treated in the U.S. from 2008 to 2021

Study Reviewed by the Cross County Cardiology Education Team

Introduction Treating high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) during pregnancy can help prevent serious health problems for both the mother and baby. This blog post will look at how common high blood pressure is during pregnancy and how it has been treated over the years, especially after new guidelines were introduced in 2017 by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

Study Methods Researchers used data from insurance claims in the United States from 2007 to 2021. They looked at how many pregnant women had high blood pressure and which medicines were used to treat it.

Key Findings

  1. Increase in High Blood Pressure: From 2008 to 2021, the number of pregnant women with high blood pressure went up from 1.8% to 3.7%. This means that out of nearly 2 million pregnancies, more women were dealing with this condition over the years.

  2. Stable Treatment Rates: Around 57% to 60% of pregnant women with high blood pressure were given medication during this time. This percentage didn’t change much over the years.

  3. Changes in Medication: The types of medicines used changed a lot:

    • Methyldopa and Hydrochlorothiazide: Fewer women used these medicines (methyldopa dropped from 29% to 2%, and hydrochlorothiazide from 11% to 5%).
    • Labetalol and Nifedipine: More women used these medicines (labetalol went from 19% to 42%, and nifedipine from 9% to 17%).
  4. Impact of 2017 Guidelines: The new 2017 guidelines didn’t change how many women had high blood pressure or how it was treated.

Conclusion The number of pregnant women with high blood pressure has doubled from 2008 to 2021. Labetalol has become the most commonly used medicine instead of methyldopa. However, only about 60% of women with high blood pressure during pregnancy are treated with medication.

Final Thoughts Managing high blood pressure during pregnancy is crucial for the health of both mother and baby. It's important to stay informed about the best practices and treatments available.

Stay tuned for more updates and insights from the Cross County Cardiology Education Team!

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The Reality Check: Debunking the Myths about Stress and Heart Diseases!

As we level up in our pursuit of achieving optimum heart health, our practice at Cross County Cardiology wants to shed light on some misleading information surrounding this journey. Countless pagans of the internet cite alternative therapies as the new miracle for all heart-related ailments. Let us debunk some of these myths, and emphasize the importance of individualized care.

One common misconception is that stress reduction techniques do not significantly impact our heart health. Let us say this loud and clear: this belief is entirely false. The body's secretion of specific hormones, such as cortisol, under stress can have serious damaging effects on the heart, similar to the impact of sleep deprivation. So, what's the bottom line? Stress management and maintaining a mentally healthy lifestyle are crucial components of heart health.

Moreover, the belief that dietary supplements alone can prevent heart disease is another myth that needs debunking. While some dietary supplements can support heart health, relying exclusively on them can not guarantee a heart disease-free life. In fact, certain supplements are known contributors to heart diseases. Therefore, it becomes crucial to understand the pluses and minuses of whatever protocols we follow.

At Cross County Cardiology, we believe strongly in individualized care. A one-size-fits-all approach does not apply when it comes to caring for your heart. To ensure the best possible outcomes for our clients, we tailor our recommendations to the individual, taking into account their unique needs, health status, and lifestyle.

Stay tuned for more valuable advice, recommendations, and debunking myths, exclusively from your trusted team at Cross County Cardiology.
BTW - check out our very own Dr. Chris Pumill's IG video reel discussing this very important topic, click here. 

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The Hidden Risks of Drinking Alcohol Before Sleeping on Flights

Hello, Cross County Cardiology community!

We often hear tips about staying hydrated and moving around during long flights, but there's another important factor to consider for your heart health: avoiding alcohol before sleeping on a plane. A recent study by German researchers highlights the potential health risks associated with this common practice, even for young and healthy individuals.

Key Findings:

  • Lower Blood Oxygen Levels: The study found that the combination of alcohol, sleep, and low oxygen levels at high altitudes can significantly reduce blood oxygen saturation. This can be particularly challenging for your cardiovascular system.
  • Increased Heart Rate: Alcohol consumption before sleep on a flight was shown to increase heart rate, adding extra strain on your heart.
  • Poor Sleep Quality: Drinking alcohol before sleeping can also reduce the quality of your sleep, leaving you feeling more tired and less refreshed.

Who Is Most at Risk?

While the study observed these effects in young and healthy participants, the risks are even higher for older adults and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. The researchers emphasized that higher doses of alcohol could further amplify these risks, potentially leading to serious health complications or medical emergencies during the flight.


The researchers recommend avoiding alcohol during flights to maintain better oxygen levels in your blood, keep your heart rate stable, and ensure a higher quality of sleep. They also suggest that airlines consider restricting the inflight consumption of alcoholic beverages to promote passenger health and safety.

Our Take:

At Cross County Cardiology, we always emphasize the importance of heart health, whether you're on the ground or in the air. The findings of this study remind us that simple choices, like avoiding alcohol before sleeping on a flight, can make a big difference in maintaining your cardiovascular health.

Remember, your heart works hard every day, and taking care of it is essential no matter where you are. Stay hydrated, move around during long flights, and consider skipping that pre-sleep drink to ensure a healthier and safer journey.

Stay heart-healthy, and safe travels!

#HeartHealth #TravelTips #Cardiology #HealthyFlying #CrossCountyCardiology 💙🛫

For more insights and tips, follow our blog and stay connected with Cross County Cardiology.

The Cross County Cardiology Education Team

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How Extra ApoB Affects Heart Health

We wanted to share our research from a medical abstract.

An ApoB test helps your doctor analyze whether or not you are at risk for heart disease. It measures the amount of apolipoprotein B in your blood. Apolipoprotein B attaches to negative types of cholesterol that cause plaque buildup in your blood vessels, which can lead to damage and heart disease

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Empowering Women with Knowledge on Cardiac Medications during Pregnancy

Understanding heart medication safety during pregnancy can be a daunting task. At Cross County Cardiology, we aim to equip soon-to-be mothers with the expertise of professionals in the field who can provide them with accurate, reliable information.

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Understanding the Importance of Selecting the Right Cardiac Surgery

The healthcare field has made a huge stride in the last few decades with the innovation of minimally-invasive surgeries. These surgeries have been bustling with excitement, reshaping the landscape of the surgical world, particularly in cardiology.

Dr. Chris Pumill, from Cross County Cardiology, a leading provider of medical services, precisely points out how the buzz about minimally-invasive surgeries shouldn't overshadow the primary goal of any surgical treatment - optimal patient result. He uncovers that while the scar's size and the less invasive treatment are indeed benefits of these procedures, they shouldn't necessarily take precedence over the nature and efficiency of the surgery itself.

Deciding between repairing and replacing a heart valve is a life-changing decision. Here, Dr. Pumill episodes an example where a slightly larger incision for repair can indeed prove more beneficial for the patient than a smaller one for replacement. This rationale stems from the simple fact that what might seem more invasive initially could potentially serve the patient better in the long run, slashing future complications and consequent hospital visits.

As patients and caregivers, understanding every facet of surgical treatments can appear overwhelming. What's minimally invasive? What sort of scar will remain? Will the treatment require follow-ups? Even though the medical realm strives to bring the least discomfort, it ultimately underscores ensuring the patient's well-being.

When considering heart surgery, an individual conversation with your cardiologist and/or surgeon, taking your health history and overall condition into account, proves invaluable. Such a tailored consultation helps beat the bias of the 'minimally-invasive' buzz and concentrates on your best possible outcome.

Undeniably, the advancements in minimally-invasive surgeries are an exciting revolution. Still, its worth stands best when evaluated against each patient's unique needs in a thorough, comprehensive discussion with their healthcare collaborator. After all, your heart doesn't beat uniformly for everyone; why should its treatment?

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People With CVD Consume Too Much Sodium

The Cross County Cardiology Education Team highlights a new study of more than 3,100 people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) that found 89% consumed more than the recommended daily maximum of 1,500 mg of sodium. The study, led by Dr. Elsie Kodjoe, MD, MPH, analyzed data from questionnaires submitted by patients with CVD who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2009 to 2018.

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Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Statin Therapy for Older Adults

Welcome to the Cross County Cardiology Education Team's latest blog post! Today, we’re discussing an important topic: the use of statins for preventing heart diseases in older adults.

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Redefining Life with Congestive Heart Failure: A Deep Dive into Symptoms, Treatment, and Rehabilitation

Despite its intimidating reputation, living with congestive heart failure is not a doom-and-gloom scenario anymore. Thanks to ground-breaking advances in medical science, adjustments in dietary habits, and a committed cardiac rehabilitation routine, patients diagnosed with heart failure can enjoy a good quality of life. 

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Blood Pressure Patterns After Pregnancy with New Hypertensive Disorders

Welcome to another insightful post from the Cross County Cardiology Education Team. Today, we’re diving into the importance of monitoring blood pressure in new mothers after they’ve experienced hypertensive disorders during pregnancy.

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