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Pregnancy Complications Tied to Higher Risk for Later Hypertension

Complications such as preterm births and preeclampsia double the risk

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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) 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 a higher adjusted risk for 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 for 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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