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Jamie Kitt

British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Fellow and Cardiology Speciality Registrar

I started my DPhil in Michaelmas term 2018 under the supervision of Professors Paul Leeson, Richard McManus and Doctor Adam Lewandowski, I am a Cardiology Speciality registrar in Thames Valley (Oxford) sub-specialising in cross-sectional imaging and echo.  My research interest is within Obstetric Cardiology and given the prevalence of pre-eclampsia (1/10 pregnancies in the UK) and the expertise within this area of my supervisors, this is the current area of focus, building upon the work of my predecessors from studies by this group such as PVS, EPOCH and SNAP-HT.

A pilot, randomised controlled trial (SNAP-HT) published last year showed that blood pressure self-management during the post-partum period, after hypertensive pregnancies, results in lower blood pressure after six months; even when medication has been stopped.

We now want to assess whether this blood pressure reduction is sustained longer term (36+/- 12 months) by following up the women who took part in the original trial (SNAP-HT Extension study). In addition, we want to investigate whether better post-partum blood pressure control also has benefits for other cardiovascular and cerebrovascular changes known to occur in women who have had a hypertensive pregnancy. We will therefore undertake a novel trial of blood pressure self-management in the post-partum period (POP-HT) and measure additional structural and functional end organ differences, using magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and heart as well as echocardiography and vascular measures. This will provide insight into the impact of post-partum blood pressure control on the maternal cardiovascular system and blood pressure changes, which will help refine future intervention strategies.