Hypertension in Pregnancy and Offspring Cardiovascular Risk in Young Adulthood: Prospective and Sibling Studies in the HUNT Study (Nord-Trøndelag Health Study) in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHypertension. 2017, 69 (4), 591-598. 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.08414
Women with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy are at increased lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease. We examined the offspring’s cardiovascular risk profile in young adulthood and their siblings’ cardiovascular risk profile. From the HUNT study (Nord-Trøndelag Health Study) in Norway, 15 778 participants (mean age: 29 years), including 210 sibling groups, were linked to information from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. Blood pressure, anthropometry, serum lipids, and C-reactive protein were assessed. Seven hundred and six participants were born after exposure to maternal hypertension in pregnancy: 336 mothers had gestational hypertension, 343 had term preeclampsia, and 27 had preterm preeclampsia. Offspring whose mothers had hypertension in pregnancy had 2.7 (95% confidence interval, 1.8–3.5) mm Hg higher systolic blood pressure, 1.5 (0.9–2.1) mm Hg higher diastolic blood pressure, 0.66 (0.31–1.01) kg/m2 higher body mass index, and 1.49 (0.65–2.33) cm wider waist circumference, compared with offspring of normotensive pregnancies. Similar differences were observed for gestational hypertension and term preeclampsia. Term preeclampsia was also associated with higher concentrations of non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.14 mmol/L, 0.03–0.25) and triglycerides (0.13 mmol/L, 0.06–0.21). Siblings born after a normotensive pregnancy had nearly identical risk factor levels as siblings born after maternal hypertension. Offspring born after maternal hypertension in pregnancy have a more adverse cardiovascular risk profile in young adulthood than offspring of normotensive pregnancies. Their siblings, born after a normotensive pregnancy, have a similar risk profile, suggesting that shared genes or lifestyle may account for the association, rather than an intrauterine effect. All children of mothers who have experienced hypertension in pregnancy may be at increased lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease.