February 24, 2024 1:24 pm
Study suggests that pregnancy complications could lead to poorer cardiovascular health for the child

At the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, a new study will be presented, revealing findings that suggest hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) and gestational diabetes (GDM) may have negative effects on a child’s cardiovascular health.

Researchers from the prospective Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Follow-up Study (HAPO FUS) conducted a secondary analysis of 3,317 maternal-child pairings to determine if there was a connection between HDP and GDM and a child’s cardiovascular health.

The study 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. 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, researchers were able to determine their cardiovascular health in childhood. The results showed that 55.5 percent of the children, with a median age of 11.6 years, had at least one non-ideal metric, increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke.

Lead author Kartik K. Venkatesh, MD, PhD, emphasized the importance of these findings as they suggest that what happens in the womb can affect a child across their lifespan.

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