CHAP trial awarded Clinical Trial of the Year

by Hannah Echols, UAB News, May 24, 2023

Alan T. Tita, M.D., Ph.D.
Alan Tita, M.D., Ph.D.,

The Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy trial, led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, received the David Sackett Trial of the Year award from the Society for Clinical Trials. The prestigious award is given to a clinical trial that improves the lot of humankind and provides substantial and beneficial change to health care.

The CHAP trial evaluated the effects of prescribing blood pressure medication to pregnant women with mild chronic hypertension. Results published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2022 showed treatment improved pregnancy outcomes without compromising the baby’s growth and overall health, which was a primary concern for physicians for years. CHAP results have since led to changes in national guidelines.

“Chronic hypertension causes serious and life-threatening complications for pregnant women and their babies,” said Alan Tita, M.D., Ph.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, principal investigator for the CHAP trial, and lead author of the NEJM paper. “Between 70 percent and 80 percent of pregnant women with chronic hypertension fall into the ‘mild’ category, where there was not a medical consensus for treatment.”

The CHAP consortium — including over 60 collaborating clinical sites across the United States, with clinical and data coordinating centers in the UAB departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Center for Women’s Reproductive Health and the department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health — launched the CHAP program in 2014 with funding from the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. From September 2015 to March 2021, CHAP enrolled more than 2,400 pregnant women with mild chronic hypertension whose blood pressure was greater than 140/90 mmHg but less than 160/105 mmHg.