More Folic Acid in Pregnancy May Protect Kids from High Blood Pressure

A recent study by Dr. Xiaobin Wang states that more folic acid during pregnancy might cause lower blood pressure in children. The study was published on March 8, 2017, and was printed in American Journal of Hypertension. If the results are accurate, then this opened up a new possibility of treating high blood pressure in utero, which could change diagnoses in so many Americans in future generations.

This study was done at Boston Medical Center, and used 1300 mother-infant pairs to collect the data. About 29 percent of the babies had high blood pressure between the ages of 3 and 9. These children were found to be much more likely to have mothers that were obese, diabetic, or whom also had high blood pressure. They were also found to be much more likely to have low birth weight, premature, and higher BMIs than babies that did not have high blood pressure.

Despite these promises correlations, there was no specific evidence that stated that folic acid levels had anything to do with the blood pressures of these children. Although the findings were not conclusive about a causation of high blood pressure in children, it was able to provide a correlation between the genetics and health of mothers and the health of their babies.

Key Points:

  • 1Dr. Xiaobin Wang, a pediatrician from Boston University, collected data, with other colleagues, from mother and child pairs, followed since birth, for approximately a decade.
  • 2The researchers tracked the mothers heart health risk factors, including their chronic conditions and folic acid levels, to observe the impact on the children.
  • 3It was found that children with higher systolic pressure readings were likelier to have Mothers with obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

Our findings raise the possibility that early risk assessment and intervention before conception and during pregnancy may lead to new ways to prevent high blood pressure

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