According to a new study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy may help to predict the risk of heart disease during early, middle-aged women. In this study, researchers analyzed data from more than 3,400 pregnant women who participated in the British parents and children’s study. Blood pressure, glucose levels, and body weight of the participating pregnant women were collected from the study. Data of the baby’s birth weight, history of smoking by the women, and age during delivery, were also collected from the study.
The mothers, with an average age of 48-years-old, had a follow-up visit to determine their body weight, height, waist size, blood pressure, and blood glucose, were all measured. Lipid levels and insulin levels of the participants were also noted, as these are the most important risk factors for heart diseases.
Analysis of the data showed that in women who had a more than average birth weight, their babies tended to have larger waists and higher glucose concentrations in their blood. Mothers, whose babies were smaller in size, had high blood pressure. Researchers calculated the risk of heart disease for the next 10 years. Results also showed that women, who had high blood pressure due to pregnancy, have a 31% increased risk for heart disease if they are middle-aged. Increased blood pressure seems to be a very good predictor for heart disease than any other complication due to pregnancy.
If diabetes was a complication due to pregnancy, the chances of heart disease occur among a mother who is middle-aged is increased by 26%.