Hypertension in pregnancy may lower baby's IQ - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Hypertension may lower baby's IQ

Hypertension in pregnancy has been linked to low birth weight and early delivery, but now it appears it can also lower a baby's IQ.

Finnish researchers followed nearly 400 men from before birth into their sixties.

They tested their thinking skills in their twenties and again in their late sixties. They found that men whose mothers had high blood pressure while pregnant didn't perform as well.

Dr. Elisa Ross, an OBGYN at the Cleveland Clinic, did not take part in the study. But she says this indicates a mother's high blood pressure can cause a decline in a child's cognitive ability through his or her whole life.

"This shows that there are long-term effects of having high blood pressure in pregnancy," says Ross. "We mostly have been thinking that it's just a short-term effect on the baby while it's in-utero, but here is a situation where it affects the offspring long after the pregnancy is over."

Hypertension affects about eight percent of all pregnancies.

It's important to monitor your blood pressure for your own health, but especially if you plan to have a baby.

Things like medication, exercise and quitting smoking can help get your blood pressure under control.  And, of course, always consult with your doctor.

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