According to a recent study, Gen Xers and millennials are about twice as likely to experience high blood pressure during pregnancy as baby boomer women were. This covers ailments like gestational hypertension and preeclampsia.
Although it is generally accepted that the risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy increases with the mother’s age, researchers found that women born in and after 1981 were still at higher risk.
Although there are many causes for generational changes, Dr Sadiya Khan, an assistant professor at North-western University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and a study co-author, hypothesised that this is largely because of the generational decline in heart health. More individuals with risk factors, like obesity, are becoming pregnant in recent generations.
She emphasised how important these issues are.
Khan stated in a school news release that “high blood pressure during pregnancy is a leading cause of death for both mom and baby.” Pregnancy-related high blood pressure is linked to an increased risk of heart failure and stroke in the mother and an increased risk of premature birth, growth restriction, and infant mortality.
Consulting a Gynaecologist at various pregnancy stages may help regulate and moderate overall health.
The researchers used the National Vital Statistics System Natality Database to extract data. The study focused on first pregnancies between 1995 and 2019 and used data from more than 38 million women.
Using these data, they could correlate mothers’ birth year, race, and ethnicity with high blood pressure-related disorders during pregnancy.
They discovered that American Indian, Alaskan Native, and dark-skinned (Afro-American) women had the highest rates.
This is the first cross-generational study to examine patterns of pregnancy-related hypertension without regard to the mother’s age or the year of delivery, according to Khan.
This is crucial. She said, “especially considering the history of significant racial and ethnic disparities in this high-risk condition that affects both the mother and the unborn child.” “By beginning life with a worse state of heart health, this creates a vicious cycle of generational health decline.”
According to co-author Dr Natalie Cameron, a medical instructor at North-western, the findings call for a new screening strategy.
The public health and clinical message from this work is the need to broaden our screening perspectives and increase our emphasis on prevention in all age groups before and during pregnancy, particularly among younger people who have traditionally not been considered at high risk, according to Cameron.
Khan concurred. She asserted that early detection and prevention could save lives and enhance the health of future generations beginning with the unborn.
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