Home Institution

University of Puget Sound

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

India: Public Health, Policy Advocacy, and Community


The primary purpose of this study is to assess the contribution and correlation between lifestyle behaviors and modifiable risk factors (MRF) established in adolescence and during pregnancy with development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) exclusive to preeclampsia (PE), eclampsia, and pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH). MRF include but are not exclusive to diet and nutrition, physical activity, and Mishri use. Associations of HDP with increased premature cardiovascular risk in the affected woman and child indicate the importance of healthy lifestyle modifications that promote cardiovascular health and longevity and reduction of risk factors through prevention. While cardiac conditions are primarily associated with patients over the age of 40, early prevention is key for establishing healthy behaviors. Subsequently, this study analyzed health behaviors and greater environmental factors in three stages of the woman’s life: adolescence, pregnancy, and adulthood. To follow, the secondary purpose seeks to analyze the impact and efficacy of lifestyle interventions and modifications made to prevent modifiable risk factors these three stages. Attention is focused on what factors influence or fail to influence women’s decisions to modify their lifestyles following the complication. For women living in villages and slums in rural Maharashtra, greater cultural, religious, political, and socioeconomic factors shape the realities of their lifestyle decisions and education. Such factors include health education interventions and counseling, socioeconomic development, and the degree of relevant cultural application of these interventions. Primary actors facilitating these interventions include health and social workers and educators from various political and non-political sectors. Village health workers (VHWs) among other outreach agencies of the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) in Jamkhed, Maharashtra have helped extend educational opportunities and health access for women seeking to understand health decisions and prevention throughout every stage of life. Interviews and 5 conversations with women with histories of complicated pregnancies, VHWs, social workers, and physicians helped contextualize prevalence and understanding of risk and prevention, prenatal and antenatal care, and the lifestyle behaviors of women with these histories. The interviews illustrated both the scientific and cultural complexity of risk factor assessment of HDP especially in the context of prevention through lifestyle MRF reduction but demonstrated numerous opportunities and platforms for building healthy lifestyle interventions in each of the three life stages included in this study.


Human and Clinical Nutrition | Inequality and Stratification | Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Public Health Education and Promotion | Women's Health



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