Black Physician at the University of Alabama Birmingham Leading Major Research Project

Alan_titaAlan Tita, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is principal investigator of a six-year, $19,310,000 grant project funded by the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund research into drug treatment of mild chronic hypertension among pregnant women.

The Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy Project will enroll between 4,700 and 5,700 pregnant women over the next six years. Participants will be evaluated for the potential benefits and harms of pharmacologic treatment directed at mild chronic hypertension during pregnancy.

Dr. Tita says that “this question has been an elephant in the room for obstetric care providers and researchers for quite some time. Everyone knows chronic hypertension causes serious and sometimes life-threatening complications for the pregnant woman and her baby, but no one really knows how best to manage the condition during pregnancy. While treatment of chronic hypertension is standard for the general population, it is uncertain whether treatment during pregnancy is beneficial or safe for the fetus. Specifically, while we know chronic hypertension adversely affects the baby’s growth, there are concerns that treatment of hypertension may also impair the baby’s growth. It’s a Catch-22, and it’s one for which we need to find answers.”

Dr. Tita earned his medical degree at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon and completed his residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

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