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Eur J Epidemiol. 2013 Jan;28(1):87-98. doi: 10.1007/s10654-013-9763-5. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Offspring's blood pressure and metabolic phenotype after exposure to gestational hypertension in utero.

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National Institute for Health and Welfare, Oulu, Finland.


The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of de novo hypertension in pregnancy, i.e. gestational (non-proteinuric) hypertension (GH) and preeclampsia (PE), on the long-term metabolic outcome of the offspring. Data was obtained from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (NFBC 1986), including 9,362 pregnancies and subsequent births between 1985 and 1986. Pregnancies were categorised into three groups: (1) GH with blood pressure (BP) ≥ 140/90 mmHg, (2) PE with BP ≥ 140/90 mmHg and proteinuria, and (3) reference group with normal BP. The final study population included 331 offspring of mothers with GH, 197 with PE and 5,045 offspring of normotensive mothers. The main outcome measures were systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), body mass index (BMI), and serum lipid, glucose and insulin levels of the 16 year-old offspring. The children of mothers with GH had higher BP compared to the reference group (SBP percentage difference 2.7 (95% CI 1.6, 3.8); DBP 3.4 (2.1, 4.6); MAP 3.1 (2.0, 4.1), P < 0.001 for all) and a tendency towards higher cholesterol and apolipoprotein B values. The offspring of mothers with PE had higher DBP and MAP, however after the adjustments this difference disappeared. Maternal de novo hypertension during pregnancy is associated with offspring's elevated blood pressure level already in adolescence. GH may also be associated with unfavourable lipid profile of the offspring.

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