High blood pressure in adults likely to get determined before birth: Aussie research

High blood pressure in adults likely to get determined before birth: Aussie research

High blood pressure in adults likely to get determined before birth: Aussie research
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SYDNEY – A research by the University of Western Australia (WA) revealed that the risk of high blood pressure in adults could have its origin before birth.

The research, published in the Journal of Hypertension and released on Wednesday, used statistics from Raine Study which have followed a group of young adults throughout their lives since they were unborn babies.

WA researchers then used ultrasound measurements to model the intrauterine growth trajectories at different stages of pregnancy from the study. They found higher blood pressure in adulthood significantly associated with the restricted foetal growth and the sustained low-growth.

“We found that babies, whose head and abdominal growth during pregnancy are below average, are at greater risk of hypertension during adulthood with their systolic blood pressure 3.5 mmHg higher,” said lead author of the study, public health physician and PhD candidate Dr Ashish Yadav.

Yadav said population studies have shown that a 3.5 mmHg higher blood pressure in adults corresponded to a 6-10 percent higher risk of death due to heart disease and a 10 percent higher risk of stroke.

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“Our study provides new evidence that there are different patterns of foetal growth and that they play a critical role in predisposing the offspring to risk of future heart disease and stroke,” he said.

Researchers also found that lifestyle and environmental factors during pregnancy can also increase an unborn child’s risk of heart disease and stroke later in life.

“Mothers’ weight, smoking and hypertension in pregnancy and pregnancy-related diabetes, which all influence growth of the unborn child,” Yadav said.

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The research reinforces the importance of the early intrauterine environment and its influence on adult’s blood pressure, saying that early health interventions targeting risk factors could potentially reduce the possibility of future cardiovascular disease.

 

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