Pre-Hypertension During Pregnancy May Lead to Diabetes and Stroke

NDTV Food  |  Updated: June 29, 2016 18:10 IST

Pre-Hypertension During Pregnancy May Lead to Diabetes and Stroke
  • Pregnant women with pre-hypertension develop metabolic syndrome
  • Early identification delay the onset of cardiovascular disease
  • For the study, the team analysed 507 Chinese pregnant women


Pre hypertension is not an illness but a taletell signs of the illnesses that lies ahead. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and kidney failure. During pregnancy you may develop preeclampsia, a condition characterized by elevated blood pressure. It's important to note that you may develop preeclampsia even when your blood pressure is not this high. Monitoring your blood pressure is a necessity for prenatal care because the first sign of preeclampsia is commonly a rise in blood pressure.

Women who suffer from elevated blood pressure during pregnancy are at an increased risk of developing heart diseases and other health problems such as diabetes and stroke in later life, says new research done by Guangdong Women and Children Hospital in China.

The findings showed that pre-hypertension with 120-139 mm Hg systolic pressure (top number) or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic pressure (bottom number) can be dangerous for pregnant women.


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Pregnant women with blood pressure in the pre-hypertension range had a 6.5 times greater odds of developing metabolic syndrome (such as diabetes and stroke) after pregnancy, compared to women with blood pressure in the lower normal range. Further, pregnancy can also prove to be a cardiovascular stress test for women who can reveal underlying disturbances in blood pressure regulation, glucose and cholesterol metabolism, the researchers said. Abnormalities in all three areas can disrupt heart functions and lead to full-blown cardiovascular disease in later life, said the paper published in the journal Hypertension.

For the study, the team analysed 507 Chinese pregnant women with uncomplicated pregnancies and no history of hypertension and had normal blood sugar and cholesterol levels.


"Early identification of metabolic risk factors and implementation of lifestyle modifications may help delay the onset of cardiovascular disease that would present itself 20 to 30 years after delivery," said lead researcher Jian-Min Niu.

According to Dr. Sadhna Kala, Gynecologist, Moolchand Hospital, "Women should consume less salt and avoid oily food under such circumstances as these trigger high blood pressure. They should make sure to include some light exercise in their daily routine to avoid such a problem. If high blood pressure runs in the family one should be even more careful."

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