Study suggests that pregnancy complications could lead to poorer cardiovascular health for the child

Hypertension and Gestational Diabetes: New Study Reveals Link to Childhood Cardiovascular Health Risk

A new study at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, will unveil findings that suggest hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) and gestational diabetes (GDM) may have negative effects on a child’s cardiovascular health.

Researchers conducted a secondary analysis of 3,317 maternal-child pairings from the prospective Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Follow-up Study (HAPO FUS) to determine if there was a connection between HDP and GDM and a child’s cardiovascular health. They found that 8 percent of women developed high blood pressure during pregnancy, 12 percent developed gestational diabetes, and three percent developed both high blood pressure and diabetes.

In this study, researchers then examined the cardiovascular health of the children 10 to 14 years after delivery. By acquiring data on the children’s body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and glucose levels, they were able to determine their cardiovascular health in childhood. The results showed that 55.5 percent of the children had at least one non-ideal metric, increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke in adulthood.

The study’s lead author, Kartik K. Venkatesh, MD, PhD

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