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Pregnancy Hypertension and Long-Term Weight Gain Linked

Gains in body mass index over 21 years are greater, despite normal antenatal weight

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Women who develop hypertensive disorders of pregnancy tend to gain more weight over time than women who do not, according to the results of a prospective cohort study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Leonie K. Callaway, of Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,572 women who were followed-up for 21 years after receiving antenatal care at a major public hospital in South Brisbane. Of these, 318 (8.9 percent) experienced hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, although most were neither obese nor overweight at pregnancy.

After adjusting for confounders, women who developed hypertensive disorders of pregnancy had a 1.35 kg/m2 greater mean increase in body mass index over 21 years than women who did not, and were 59 percent more likely to gain 5 kg/m2 over 21 years than women who did not.

"This study contributes to the evidence base for future randomized trials to explore the effect of interventions that minimize weight gain to prevent the development of chronic disease in women identified as at risk during antenatal care," the authors conclude.

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