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Hypertension During Pregnancy Can Lead to Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Research found out that women with high blood pressure in pregnancy, including conditions such as pre-eclampsia, can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders later in life.

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Updated:September 24, 2019, 6:35 PM IST
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Hypertension During Pregnancy Can Lead to Increased Risk of Heart Disease
(Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Halfpoint/ Istock.com)

While motherhood, especially during pregnancy, is a beautiful experience for many, a number of women face several difficulties that are never talked about. Risky medical conditions during pregnancy to increased heath risk in future, which are often ignored.

However, a study, published in the journal Circulation, has found out that women with high blood pressure in pregnancy, including conditions such as pre-eclampsia, can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders later in life.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from King’s College London, who studied electronic health records from 1997 to 2016 to recreate a UK population-based cohort of 1.3 million women covering nearly 1.9 million completed pregnancies.

They used statistical analysis to determine the associations between hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia with 12 cardiovascular disorders. In the 20-year study period, it was found that around 18,624 cardiovascular events occurred, of which 65% occurred in women under 40 years of age.

In addition, women who had one or more pregnancies affected by pre-eclampsia or other types of pregnancy hypertension were more likely to have a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or similar event in the later life. Additionally, women with pregnancy high blood pressure had twice the number of deaths in this follow-up period from cardiovascular disease.

Lead study author Dr Fergus McCarthy, from University College Cork, said, “This research further supports the evidence that what occurs in pregnancy has lifelong implications for a mother’s health. By looking at pregnancy outcomes, we may have an excellent opportunity to identify women at high risk of cardiovascular disease and offer them early interventions after pregnancy to try and reduce this risk.”

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