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More Illness for Term Babies Exposed to Preeclampsia

Study finds exposure raises risk of endocrine, metabolic and blood diseases

THURSDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Babies who are exposed to preeclampsia are at increased risk of hospitalization for a range of illnesses, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Chun S. Wu., M.D., of the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a study of 1,618,481 singleton births from 1978 to 2004 and followed them for up to 27 years to see if those who were exposed to preeclampsia during pregnancy had different health outcomes to those who were not.

For term babies exposed to preeclampsia there was an increased risk of several diseases, such as endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (incidence rate ratio, 1.6), and diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs (incidence rate ratio, 1.5), the researchers found. Preterm-born children had a decreased risk of cerebral palsy compared to their non-exposed preterm counterparts (incidence rate ratio, 0.7), and both groups had similar hospitalization patterns.

"The excess disease risks were not mediated by growth restriction or preterm birth, and may suggest a fetal programming effect, or that these diseases share common causes," the authors write.

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