At this year’s Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, researchers will present a new study that reveals hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) and gestational diabetes (GDM) may have negative effects on a child’s cardiovascular health.
The study was conducted as a secondary analysis of 3,317 maternal-child pairings from the prospective Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Follow-up Study (HAPO FUS). Researchers aimed to determine if there was any link between HDP and GDM and a child’s cardiovascular health.
From the data collected, it was found that 8 percent of women developed high blood pressure during pregnancy, 12 percent developed gestational diabetes, and three percent developed both high blood pressure and diabetes. After this information was gathered, researchers examined the cardiovascular health of the children 10 to 14 years after delivery.
Using data on the children’s body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, total cholesterol levels, and glucose levels, researchers were able to determine their overall cardiovascular health in childhood. The results showed that 55.5 percent of the children with a median age of 11.6 years had at least one non-ideal metric, increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke later in life.
Lead author Kartik K. Venkatesh MD PhD emphasized the significance of these findings as they suggest that events occurring in the womb can impact a child’s cardiovascular health throughout their lifetime.