Pregnancy Blood Pressure Affects Heart Risk
Women diagnosed with high blood pressure while pregnant are more at risk for death from heartdisease down the road. The current study included 325 women who developed high blood pressureduring pregnancy between 1931 and 1947 and 629 healthy participants. The researchers documentedheart disease events until the end of 1996.
Reporting in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (March 2005), theresearchers found that the death rate from heart disease among women with high blood pressurewas 24%, compared with the 15% rate among the control group. Furthermore, the rate of strokerelateddeaths was greater in the high blood pressure group, compared with the healthy participants(9.5% vs 6.5%, respectively).
The researchers estimated that the deaths attributed to heart disease cut the survival rate in theheart disease group an average of 3 to 9 years, compared with the control group. The age of thewomen, when their high blood pressure during pregnancy was diagnosed, factored into the life span.The effect was less pronounced in younger women.