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Home Home Wellness News Raised BP Before Pregnancy Linked to Miscarriage
Raised BP Before Pregnancy Linked to Miscarriage
Wellness - Latest Wellness News
Jupiter, FL Dentist

About a quarter of the 797 women who conceived within six months wound up suffering a pregnancy loss. Looking at the numbers, researchers found that blood pressure prior to conception or during early pregnancy had a direct link to the risk of pregnancy loss.

"The higher the blood pressure, the worse the risk," Schisterman said. "It affects pregnancy at every level, but at higher levels there is more risk."

It's not unusual that diastolic pressure was associated with risk as opposed to systolic pressure, which measures blood pressure within arteries during a heartbeat, explained lead researcher Carrie Nobles, a fellow with the (NICHHD).

"For young adults in their 20s and 30s, diastolic blood pressure seems to be a better predictor of later development of cardiovascular disease than systolic pressure," Nobles said. "That reverses in older adults."

It's not completely clear whether blood pressure itself increases the risk of pregnancy loss, or whether it is a marker of other chronic diseases such as obesity or diabetes, Schisterman said.

"We cannot pinpoint what the cause is yet, but all of those factors have been known to cluster together with a risk of pregnancy loss," Schisterman said.

That said, it's very likely that blood pressure alone can have a negative effect on a pregnancy, said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women's Heart Health at the Heart and Vascular Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

High blood pressure "is so profoundly toxic to the arteries that it can actually lead to miscarriage and pregnancy loss," said Steinbaum, who wasn't connected to the study.

Women trying to get pregnant should keep an eye on their blood pressure and try to keep it as close to normal levels as possible, through eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising, the researchers and Steinbaum said.

"For women, the real take-home is health and wellness is not something we can think about in terms of what happens to us later in life," Steinbaum said.

"It can really have such a profound effect. To me this is startling, to know that someone will say to themselves, 'It doesn't matter how I eat right now. I'm 30. When I get older I will start paying attention.' It really does matter and it can possibly affect you during reproduction," she said.

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