Risk of High Blood Pressure in Late Pregnancy

Risk of High Blood Pressure in Late Pregnancy

Your risk of developing high blood pressure increases during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. If not treated, high blood pressure during pregnancy can endanger you and your baby. Women account for more than half of all stroke deaths. Women who are pregnant, take birth control pills and smoke, or have high blood pressure or other risk factors, have a higher stroke risk.


Pregnancy causes stress, increasing blood pressure to abnormally high levels in some women. When pregnancy ends, the blood pressure usually returns to normal. But the problem is not permanently solved. Later in life these women are at risk for high blood pressure, perhaps diabetes, and have a higher risk of coronary calcification later in life and thereby may cause development of atherosclerosis.

The cause of preeclampsia is not known. About 6 to 8% of pregnant women have preeclampsia. It is more likely to occur during first pregnancies than later pregnancies and in women less than 25 years old or over 35 years old. Women who have chronic hypertension, kidney disease, or diabetes, or who are pregnant with more than 1 baby, also have a greater risk of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is high blood pressure during pregnancy that occurs along with other symptoms and signs, such as swelling of the ankles and legs, blurred vision, liver test abnormalities, and protein in the urine.

For years, women have been advised against smoking during pregnancy, which can result in intrauterine growth retardation, insufficient fetal growth that leads to low birth weight. Moreover; infants whose mothers smoke during pregnancy have substantially higher blood pressures in their first months of life.

Preeclampsia and insulin resistance may be associated in pregnant women, putting stress on the fetus and causing the onset of fetal hormonal responses, possibly involving blood pressure and glucose regulation. Since circumstances during the fetal period may have lifelong programming effects on various body functions and susceptibility to disease.

One finds that blood pressure tracks over time, so someone with high pressure at a young age typically becomes hypertensive later in life .Study shown that the blood pressure result was the finding that babies of smoking women in the study had significantly lower birth weights, were shorter and had a smaller chest circumference than babies of nonsmokers.

High blood pressure can decrease blood flow to the placenta, which affects your baby's supply of oxygen and nutrients. This may slow your baby's growth and increase the risk of preterm delivery. High blood pressure also increases the risk of placental abruption, in which the placenta prematurely separates from the uterus.

Although preeclampsia is usually diagnosed in late pregnancy, the physiologic abnormalities are present much earlier in gestation. Increased circulating concentrations of markers of intravascular coagulation and endothelial activation can be detected weeks to months before disease becomes evident in groups of women destined to have preeclampsia. The observations that calcium metabolism may be disturbed in women with preeclampsia and that the disorder is more prevalent in women with low calcium intake spurred several trials of calcium supplementation.

"Preventing high blood pressure in adulthood may depend on gaining a better understanding of the factors that contribute to it during pregnancy and early childhood," told an expert.Later risks may be a concern, too. High blood pressure during pregnancy may increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease later in life.

Analysis of a data revealed that the women with both preeclampsia and elevated uric acid levels had a nearly seven-fold increased risk of premature delivery and delivered nearly four weeks earlier than preeclamptic women whose uric acid levels were normal. Most of these deliveries were induced to prevent more severe maternal illness and infants tended to be smaller at birth, even adjusted for gestational age.

The risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy (gestational hypertension) is higher in pregnancies resulting from infertility treatments compared with those resulting from spontaneous conceptions. Moms-to-be who have low vitamin D levels during pregnancy appear to be at increased risk for suffering from pre-eclampsia, according to a study.

Preeclampsia is a condition of pregnancy that usually begins with high blood pressure. The disorder may also lead to seizures, kidney failure or stroke. It slows the growth of the fetus, can cause early delivery, and can be fatal for the mother and the infant. The cause is unknown and there is no treatment, except to manage the symptoms.

Several years ago the use of magnesium for preeclampsia was deemed more a "religious conviction than a scientifically established treatment." The new studies now indicate that it actually has substantial beneficial effects in preeclampsia and potential benefits for the neonate. It is quite likely that, independently of any anticonvulsant efficacy, magnesium has a myriad of other potentially beneficial actions.

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