MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Gen Zers and millennials are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy than women of the baby-boom generation, a new study finds. This includes terms such as Eclampsia and gestational hypertension.
The odds of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy are usually thought to increase with age, but after taking age into account, researchers discovered that women born in and after 1981 were still at greater risk.
“While there are many causes for the generational changes observed, we hypothesize that this is due in large part to the observed reduction in generations. heart health“We’re seeing more people in recent generations going into pregnancy with risk factors such as obesity,” said study co-author Dr. Saadia Khan, assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
She emphasized that the risks are high.
“High blood pressure during pregnancy is a leading cause of death for both mother and child,” Khan said in a press release. High blood pressure during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk heart failure And the brain attack in the mother and an increased risk of premature birth, growth restriction, or death of the child.”
The researchers pulled the numbers from the National Vital Statistics System’s birth database. The study, which included data from more than 38 million women, focused on first pregnancies that occurred between 1995 and 2019.
These numbers allowed them to match disorders associated with high blood pressure during pregnancy with the mother’s birth year and race or ethnicity.
They found that the highest rates were among American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Black women.
“This is the first multigenerational study beyond maternal age or birth calendar year to understand patterns of high blood pressure during pregnancy,” Khan said.
“This is especially important when we look at the legacy of the significant racial and ethnic disparities in this very serious condition that affects not only the mother but also the child,” she said. “This leads to a vicious cycle of deteriorating the health of generations by starting life with poor heart health.”
Co-author, Dr Natalie Cameron, a medical instructor at Northwestern University, said the findings call for a new approach to screening.
“The public health and clinical message of this work is the need to broaden our perspective on screening and broaden our focus on prevention in all age groups before and during pregnancy, particularly among young people who have not traditionally been considered to be at high risk,” Cameron said in the statement.
Khan agreed. “Prevention and early identification can save the lives of future generations and improve the health of future generations from birth,” she said.
The study was published online August 24 in JAMA Open Network .
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more about high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Source: Northwestern Medicine, press release, August 24, 2022