High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy Tied to Heart Disease Risk Afterward

High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy Tied to Heart Disease Risk Afterward

High blood pressure during pregnancy isn’t just dangerous for both mother and child during pregnancy; it can put the mother at risk for future high blood pressure problems. And it can increase her risk factors for other medical issues, such as diabetes or cholesterol.

Issues with blood pressure are not an uncommon medical complication for pregnant women. Medical research has already produced evidence that women who have gestational hypertension or preeclampsia during pregnancy will carry a greater risk of cardiac problems such as stroke or heart attack even after the pregnancy is carried to term and their blood pressure returns to normal. But new research has uncovered data not just linking pregnancy high blood pressure to these health concerns, but also more clearly quantified the risks they’ll face.

Women who have preeclampsia, for example, will have twice as much of a chance to have hypertension later in their lives. Gestational hypertension, on the other hand, tripled that same risk. Those same women will also be sixty-five to seventy-five percent more likely to develop diabetes, and about a third more likely to suffer from high cholesterol.

While the new study didn’t conclusively link pregnancy blood pressure problems to being the cause of post-pregnancy hypertension, the study’s authors do caution that they can’t rule it out either.

Key Points:

  • 1Gestational hypertension is the reason for 65% to have higher chances of developing diabetes.
  • 2Women with gestation hypertension and preeclampsia had a higher risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol in the first year following them having birth.
  • 3High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol during or after pregnancy is more common in obese women.


Compared with women who had normal blood pressure throughout their first pregnancy, women who developed gestational hypertension were almost three times more likely to have high blood pressure again in the future, while women with preeclampsia had more than double the risk.
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