High blood pressure in pregnancy may pose long-term risk

November 12, 2007

High blood pressure is closely monitored during pregnancy but there is new evidence from a study at the Mayo Clinic in the USA that it is an under-recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Compared with women who have had normal blood pressure throughout their pregnancies, those who had high blood pressure are at greater risk of heart disease later in life. One reason could be that having high blood pressure in pregnancy has some of the same risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as diabetes or obesity. Another theory is that hypertension in pregnancy could induce long-term metabolic and vascular abnormalities that might increase the overall risk of heart disease later in life. Anyone with a family history of heart disease is well advised to have their blood pressure very closely monitored during pregnancy.


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