High BP in pregnancy ups heart risk later

Women who experience high blood pressure during pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease later in life, a new study has found.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is the most common medical problem seen in pregnancy, affecting an estimated 10-15% of all pregnancies. It can lead to complications for both the woman and her baby, including placental abruption, which is when the placental lining separates from the uterus of the mother prior to delivery, a premature delivery and a smaller than average baby.

Canadian researchers looked at over 146,000 women with a first pregnancy, following up on them over a period of almost five years.

They found that women with high blood pressure during pregnancy were at least twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease later in life compared to women who did not have high blood pressure during pregnancy.

These women were also at least five times more likely to develop high blood pressure later in life.

Further pregnancies did not appear to affect these results.

"This study highlights the need for long-term follow-up of women with a history of hypertension during pregnancy to provide early management of risk factors for cardiovascular disease," the researchers from McGill University said.

Details of these findings are published in the journal, Paediatric & Perinatal Epidemiology.


[Posted: Mon 21/08/2017]

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