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Pregnancy Complications Tied to Higher Risk of Later Hypertension

Complications such as preterm births and preeclampsia double the risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Several first-time pregnancy complications are associated with development of hypertension (HTN) two to seven years later, according to a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association.

David M. Haas, M.D., from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues used follow-up data from 4,484 women after their first pregnancy (mean follow-up, 3.2 years) in order to evaluate the association between outcomes in first pregnancies and subsequent cardiovascular health.

The researchers found that adverse pregnancy outcomes (defined as hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, small-for-gestational-age birth, preterm birth, and stillbirth) were identified prospectively in 22.7 percent of participants. The overall incidence of HTN was 5.4 percent, but women with adverse pregnancy outcomes had higher adjusted risk of HTN at follow-up versus controls (risk ratio [RR], 2.4). Similar findings were seen for individual adverse pregnancy outcomes: any hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (RR, 2.7), preeclampsia (RR, 2.8), and preterm birth (RR, 2.7). The highest risk of HTN was seen among women who had a preterm birth and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (RR, 4.3).

“Preventive care for women should include a detailed pregnancy history to aid in counseling about HTN risk,” the authors write.

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