According to some recent research on high blood pressure during pregnancy, having preeclampsia may actually increase the risk that moms will develop heart problems later on in life.
The study, which was conducted in Norway, revealed a number of details about how high blood pressure during pregnancy can affect a woman’s health later on. This is the first study that specifically looked at the difference between single-child mothers and mothers who had multiple children. Here are some facts and results from the study:
- The study examined records of over 836,000 women in Norway. All of the women gave birth to their first baby during the period between 1967 and 2009. At the end of the period, almost 3,900 women in the study had passed away due to heart disease.
- Women who experienced preeclampsia during their first pregnancy showed a higher risk of having died due to heart disease-related causes when compared to women who did not have the condition.
- For women who had only one child, the risk was higher by about nine times; for women who had more children, the risk was only 2.4 times higher.
- The vast majority of women who experienced high blood pressure during pregnancy can expect a normal lifespan, however.
- While all women who have preeclampsia are considered to be candidates for monitoring throughout the life cycle, moms of only one child should be especially monitored by their health care providers, give the increased risk.
- There could be a link between having only one child and other health problems, including diabetes, that may have either discouraged or prevented further pregnancies. The study did not suggest that preeclampsia itself had any contribution to the single pregnancy factor.
- The study found an association between higher heart disease death and moms with one child who had preeclampsia, but it did not establish any kind of cause and effect relationship between the two factors.