Women with high BP during pregnancy may up heart disease risk later

Toronto: Women who experience high blood pressure condition during pregnancy are likely to face an increased risk of heart disease and hypertension later in life, according to a study.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high.

The findings showed that women with high blood pressure during pregnancy had a 2.2-times higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, compared with women without hypertension during pregnancy.

They also had a 5.6-times higher risk of developing hypertension after pregnancy.

“This study highlights the need for long-term follow-up of women with a history of hypertension during pregnancy to provide early management of risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” said lead author Sonia Grandi, doctoral candidate at McGill University.

The results were published in the journal Paediatric & Perinatal Epidemiology.

Gestational hypertension, also referred to as pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), can lead to a serious condition called preeclampsia that can lead to serious, even fatal complications for both mother and baby.

For the study, the team included 1,46,748 women with a first pregnancy.

After a follow-up of approximately four-and-a-half years, 997 were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and 6,812 developed hypertension.

“To efficiently tackle modern lifestyle diseases like hypertension, we need to move from curative to preventive care. Regular health check-ups, reduction of salt, sugar intake, promoting physical activity, early detection and treatment are some of the possible ways to have a preventive approach towards such diseases,” Kenneth Thorpe, Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, said in a statement.

Lifestyle modifications, including salt restriction, diet full of fruits and vegetables are more important in day-to-day life, Thorpe added.