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Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Mar;101(3):529-33.

Intrauterine exposure to preeclampsia and adolescent blood pressure, body size, and age at menarche in female offspring.

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Department of Community Medicine and General Practice, Faculty of Medicine, University Medical Center, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO-7489 Trondheim, Norway.



To investigate whether female offspring of preeclamptic pregnancies have higher blood pressure, lower height, higher body mass index (BMI), and later age at menarche compared with offspring of normotensive pregnancies.


Questionnaire information on age at menarche and measurements of blood pressure, height, and weight were collected among 4096 Norwegian girls 13-19 years old. Individual linkage to perinatal data registered at the national Medical Birth Registry allowed us to study the relationship of preeclampsia in the mother with adolescent blood pressure, body size, and age at menarche of daughters.


Maternal preeclampsia was associated in the female offspring with higher systolic (2.9 mm Hg difference, P <.001) and diastolic (1.7 mm Hg difference, P =.001) blood pressure during adolescence and higher weight (3.4 kg difference, P <.001) and BMI (22.6 versus 21.5, P <.001). After adjustment for adolescent BMI, the difference in systolic blood pressure was attenuated from 2.9 to 1.7 mm Hg (P =.017), and from 1.7 to 0.9 mm Hg (P =.08) for diastolic blood pressure.


Intrauterine exposure to preeclampsia was associated with increased adolescent blood pressure. The association may be causally related to adult hypertension but could also be confounded by higher BMI during adolescence.

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