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Hypertension. 1987 Oct;10(4):447-51.

Pregnancy hypertension, blood pressure during labor, and blood lead levels.

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Mental Retardation Research Center, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.


Pregnancy hypertension, blood pressure during labor, and the umbilical cord blood lead concentration were assessed in 3851 women for whom additional demographic, medical, and personal information was available. Lead levels correlated with both systolic (Pearson r = 0.081, p = 0.0001) and diastolic (r = 0.051, p = 0.002) blood pressures during labor. The incidence of pregnancy hypertension increased with lead level. Multivariate models of pregnancy hypertension and systolic blood pressure as a function of maternal age, parity, hematocrit, ponderal index, race, and diabetes were improved by including lead as a predictor variable. At these observed levels of exposure (mean blood lead, 6.9 +/- 3.3 [SD] micrograms/dl), lead appears to have a small but demonstrable association with pregnancy hypertension and blood pressure at the time of delivery, but not with preeclampsia.

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