Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDPs), that is chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia (de novo or superimposed on chronic hypertension) and white coat hypertension, affect approximately 5%-15% of pregnancies. HDP exposure has been linked to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders in children. However, findings are inconsistent, and a clear consensus on the impact of HDPs on the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders is needed. Therefore, we aim to synthesise the published literature on the relationship between HDPs and the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in the form of a systematic review and meta-analysis.
We will include cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies in which diagnosis of an HDP was reported, and neurodevelopmental disorders were the outcome of interest based on a preprepared protocol. A systematic search of PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO and Web of Science will be conducted in accordance with a detailed search strategy. Two authors will independently review the titles and abstracts of all studies, perform data extraction using a standardised data collection form and assess study quality using a bias classification tool. Meta-analyses will be performed to calculate overall pooled estimates using the generic inverse variance method. This systematic review will be reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses.
This proposed systematic review and meta-analysis is based on published data, therefore, does not require ethics approval. Findings will be presented at scientific conferences and disseminated through publication in a peer-reviewed journal.