New Reports Link Childhood Obesity to High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy

Pregnant mothers that have high blood pressure are always exposed to great risks. However, the most unfortunate thing is that their offspring may also be affected by this condition. Findings from a recent report indicate that chances of childhood obesity are high for children whose mothers experience high blood pressure during pregnancy. Chinese researchers concluded that maternal blood pressure is tied to childhood obesity after examining 88,406 cases. Each of the pairs involved a mother and their child.

The research involved constant monitoring of mothers with maternal blood pressure and follow-up studies on their children after giving birth. The follow-up study focused on children between the ages of 4 and 7 to find out if they were obese or overweight. Study findings revealed that close to 10 percent of children that were examined had childhood obesity. This revelation made the researchers conclude that there is some link between childhood obesity and maternal blood pressure.

The risk for childhood obesity increases by 5 to 8 percent when a pregnant mother has an increase in blood pressure during the second and third trimesters. The other interesting observation in this study is that women that are not hypertensive can still give birth to children with childhood obesity when they experience a slight increase in diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

The risk of childhood obesity increases by 5 to 8 percent for every 10-unit increase in blood pressure. Pregnant women that experience an increase in blood pressure in their second trimester are at lower risk as compared to increased blood pressure in the final trimester. Those that recorded a blood pressure higher than140/90 were found to increase the risk of childhood obesity by 49 percent. The risk becomes even higher when this happens in the third trimester because it increases to 63 percent. Some of the major factors that were controlled for this study include; the number of previous pregnancies, the mother’s education level, bodies mass index, and the maternal age.

The National Institutes of Health indicate in their findings that up to 4% of pregnant women in America record high maternal blood pressure that can lead to serious consequences. A University of Cambridge postdoctoral researcher, Ju-Sheng Zheng, argues that less dangerous levels of maternal blood pressure still put most pregnant women at great risk of giving birth to children with childhood obesity. In other words, most children still face the risk of childhood obesity even if their mothers are not hypertensive.

About Erica Smith 192 Articles

With several years in the medical field—both as a practitioner and an administrator—Erica has a unique perspective on the health industries. From medical technology to cancer research, she covers our health industry.

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