At the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, a new study will be presented that sheds light on the negative effects of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) and gestational diabetes (GDM) on a child’s cardiovascular health.
Researchers from the prospective Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Follow-up Study (HAPO FUS) conducted a secondary analysis of 3,317 maternal-child pairings to determine if there is a link between these conditions and a child’s cardiovascular health.
The study found that 8 percent of women developed high blood pressure during pregnancy, 12 percent developed gestational diabetes, and three percent developed both conditions. Researchers then examined the cardiovascular health of the children 10 to 14 years after delivery by acquiring data on their body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and glucose levels.
The results showed that 55.5 percent of the children had at least one non-ideal metric, increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke. The study’s lead author, Kartik K. Venkatesh, MD, PhD, emphasized the importance of these findings as they suggest that what happens in the womb can have long-lasting effects on a child’s health.