In the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, a groundbreaking study will be unveiled, revealing evidence suggesting that hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) and gestational diabetes (GDM) may have long-term negative effects on a child’s cardiovascular health.
Researchers from around the world gathered at the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Follow-up Study (HAPO FUS), where they conducted a secondary analysis of 3,317 maternal-child pairings. The goal was to investigate any potential connection between HDP and GDM and their impact on a child’s cardiovascular health in childhood.
The results showed that 8 percent of women developed high blood pressure during pregnancy, 12 percent developed gestational diabetes, and three percent developed both conditions. After examining their data, researchers found that 55.5 percent of children had at least one non-ideal metric in terms of body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol levels, or glucose levels. This was especially concerning as it increased their risk for heart disease and stroke later in life.
Dr. Kartik K. Venkatesh, MD, PhD, the study’s lead author and maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist with an assistant professorship in obstetrics and gynecology as well as epidemiology said: “These findings suggest that what happens during pregnancy can have long-lasting effects on a child’s health throughout their lifetime.”