Hypertension During Pregnancy Linked To Low IQ In OffspringMain Category: Pregnancy / Obstetrics
Also Included In: Hypertension | Mental Health
Article Date: 04 Oct 2012
High blood pressure in mothers while they are pregnant can lead to negative effects in her offspring's thinking skills which may carry through until they are much older, according to a study published online in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Katri Räikönen, PhD, from the University of Helsinki in Finland explained:
"High blood pressure and related conditions such as preeclampsia complicate about 10 percent of all pregnancies and can affect a baby's environment in the womb. Our study suggests that even declines in thinking abilities in old age could have originated during the prenatal period when the majority of the development of brain structure and function occurs."
During the study, medical histories of 398 men's mothers' blood pressure were analyzed. All of the men were born to the women between the years 1934 and 1944. At the age of 20, the men had their thinking skills examined, and once again when they were around the age of 69. The examinations on the men involved math reasoning, visual and spatial relationships, and language skills.
According to the report, the men whose moms had high blood pressure when they were pregnant received scores that were 4.36 points less on thinking ability tests when they were 69 years than those whose mothers did not have high blood pressure.
The men whose mothers had high blood pressure also scored lower when they were 20 years old, and had a greater decline in their scores over the years than the individuals whose mothers had not been hypertensive. The evidence was most strongly related to math reasoning.
The experts looked into whether premature birth at all influenced these results and determined that it did not. The babies' fathers professions - anywhere from a manual laborer to an office worker - also did not alter the findings.
In an Abstract in the journal, the authors concluded: "Maternal hypertensive disorders in pregnancy predict lower cognitive ability and greater cognitive decline up to old age. A propensity to lower cognitive ability and decline up to old age may have prenatal origins."
Hypertension in pregnancyHypertension is a common medical problem encountered by pregnant mothers. Approximately 3% of all pregnant mothers develop hypertension. There are four types of hypertensions in pregnancy, according to the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy:
Written by Christine Kearney
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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