Pregnancy hypertension raises heart disease risk
Women who develop high blood pressure during their pregnancy might run a higher risk of developing heart disease later in life. Even healthy women with no risk factors for heart disease before their pregnancy could see an increase in their heart disease risk.
A recent study monitored 10,000 women in Finland who gave birth in 1966 and were monitored for 40 years after their delivery. According to the findings, published in the journal Circulation, women who developed gestational hypertension were 1.7 times more likely to have a heart attack, 1.6 times more likely to suffer a stroke and three times more likely to die of a heart attack compared to women who did not have high blood pressure during their pregnancy. Even one high blood pressure reading during a pregnancy can increase a woman's risk of heart failure later in life by 1.4 percent.
It is not clear if the findings would apply to women outside Finland and more research is needed to confirm the link between heart disease and gestational hypertension.