health day reporter
MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Gen Z and millennials are about twice as likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy as baby boomer women, a new study finds.This includes things like preeclampsia and gestational hypertension.
The risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy is generally thought to increase with maternal age, but after accounting for age, the researchers found that women born in 1981 and later were still at greater risk.
“While there are many reasons for the observed intergenerational variation, we hypothesize that this is largely due to the observed intergenerational decline heart health“We’ve seen an increasing number of pregnancies due to risk factors such as obesity in recent generations,” said study co-author Dr. Sadia Khan, assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “
She stressed that the stakes were high.
“High blood pressure during pregnancy is the leading cause of death for both mother and baby,” Khan said in a school news release. “High blood pressure during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of heart failure and stroke In the mother, the baby is at increased risk of premature birth, growth restriction or death. “
The researchers pulled the numbers from the National Vital Statistics System Birth Database. The study included data from more than 38 million women, focusing on first pregnancies that occurred between 1995 and 2019.
These numbers allowed them to match conditions associated with high blood pressure during pregnancy to the mother’s year of birth and race or ethnicity.
They found that American Indians, Alaska Natives and black women had the highest rates.
“This is the first multigenerational study to look beyond maternal age or calendar year of birth to understand patterns of gestational hypertension,” Khan said.
“This is especially important as we see a legacy of huge racial and ethnic disparities in this high-risk disease that affects not only mothers but babies, too,” she said. “This can lead to poorer heart health by starting life with poorer heart health. A vicious cycle of declining health across generations.”
Co-author Dr. Natalie Cameron, a lecturer in medicine at Northwestern University, said the findings call for a new screening method.
“The public health and clinical message of this work is the need to broaden our perspective on screening and broaden our focus on prevention before and during pregnancy for all age groups, especially in young people who are not traditionally considered to be at high risk. in,” Cameron said at the press conference.
Khan agreed. “Prevention and early identification can save lives and improve the health of offspring from birth,” she said.
The study was published online Aug. 24 in JAMA Open Network .
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Source: Northwestern Medicine, press release, August 24, 2022