A study recently published in Hypertension found a dramatic increase in high blood pressure diagnoses in pregnant women between 1970 and 2000.
- The number of women diagnosed with high blood pressure in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy increased by 13 times between 1970 and 2010.
- 150 million women with delivery-related hospitalizations were included in the study.
- A major risk factor was older maternal age. Since 1970, the average age of 1st pregnancy increased by 4-5 years.
- African-American women also experienced higher rates of hypertension, with a diagnosis rate twice that of white women.
- High blood pressure can be dangerous for both maternal and fetal health, so this rise is an alarming trend.
Bottom line: If you are planning to get pregnant, the study authors suggest general health maintenance as a preventative measure. Regular visits to your doctor may help diagnose hypertension before pregnancy, and it’s important to aim for a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Read the original article here.