Pregnancy Complications and Later Development of Hypertension
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- Intapad, S. & Alexander, B.T. Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep (2013) 7: 183. doi:10.1007/s12170-013-0303-3
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Pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and diabetes affect approximately 5 to 10 % of all pregnancies and compromise maternal and fetal health during gestation. Complications during pregnancy may also contribute to the development of hypertension and future cardiovascular risk in the mother. Moreover, fetal exposure to hypertension and diabetes during pregnancy can program hypertension and cardiovascular disease in the offspring. Transgenerational transmission of programmed cardiovascular risk highlights the importance of understanding the mechanisms that link complications during pregnancy with later hypertension in her offspring and subsequent generations. However, experimental studies are needed to investigate the cause and effect of increased blood pressure in the mother following a complicated pregnancy and provide insight into the development of preventative measures that may improve the long-term cardiovascular health of women and their offspring.