• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

New Study Links Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes to Increased Cardiovascular Risk in Children


Feb 13, 2024
Study suggests that pregnancy complications could lead to poorer cardiovascular health for the child

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

In a secondary analysis of 3,317 maternal-child pairings from the prospective Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Follow-up Study (HAPO FUS), researchers sought 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.

Considering this data, 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.

The study’s lead author, Kartik K. Venkatesh, MD, PhD, and study’s lead author, maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and assistant professor of epidemiology noted 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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