29 Jul Study Finds High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Tied to Heart Problems Later
There may be a connection between women who have hypertension during pregnancy having CVD later in life.
A Norwegian study recently published in JAMA found that when compared with women who had normal blood pressure during pregnancy, women who developed hypertensive disorders during their pregnancies were 57 percent more likely to have a heart attack decades later. They were also 47 percent more likely to develop heart failure and 40 percent more likely to have a stroke. For a smaller group of women within the study who had developed preeclampsia, the risk was even higher: 78 percent and 83 percent, respectively.
Lead study author Eirin Beate Haug of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim told Reuters, “We learned that most of the excess cardiovascular risk in women who had hypertensive disorders in pregnancy can be explained by higher levels of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, especially blood pressure and BMI.”
The study examined 23,885 women who were pregnant before age 40. Of the participants, 2,199 had hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. The research isn’t without its caveats, however. Researchers didn’t track whether study participants had risk factors for CVD before their pregnancies.