High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy: Does it Lead to Child Obesity


Having elevated blood pressure while pregnant contributes to several dangerous health risks in both mother and baby. Now, a new study finds high blood pressure during pregnancy linked to childhood obesity, too.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a dangerous condition that occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls becomes is too high, increasing risk for life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. It’s especially dangerous during pregnancy because it can lead to several complications including cesarean birth, preterm birth and placental abruption.

Recently, researchers in China and the United Kingdom found that high blood pressure in pregnancy can also increase a baby’s risk of developing childhood obesity by up to 50 percent. “Our study is the first to demonstrate that among pregnant women, elevated blood pressure is associated with a greater risk of overweight and obesity for their children,” said study first author Ju-Sheng Zheng, of Qingdao University in China and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

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