Pregnant women with hypertension are much more likely to develop chronic kidney disease compared to women without the condition reveals a recent study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Hypertension is a medical condition also known as high blood pressure, it occurs when the arteries have a significant force of blood pushing up against the blood vessel walls. The condition can carry severe health risks for pregnant women and the fetus.
Hypertension during pregnancy is fairly common, with around 5 to 10% of pregnancies affected. Medication is available to lower blood pressure, however a previous study found that some of these drugs may be detrimental to the fetus in pregnant women.
Dr. I-Kuan Wang, Division of Nephrology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, and coauthors said:
"We found that women with hypertensive disorders during pregnancy were at higher risk of end-stage renal disease than women without complicated pregnancies,"
The study involved comparing the prevalence of kidney disease (end-stage renal disease) of 26,651 Taiwanese women who were pregnant with hypertensive disorders with 213,397 women without the condition.
The researchers found that women with hypertensive disorders were 11 times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease and 14 times more likely to develop end-stage renal disease.
"We found an increased risk of subsequent end-stage renal disease among Taiwanese women who had experienced hypertensive disorders during pregnancy, including preeclampsia or eclampsia and gestational hypertension," write the authors. "We also found that women with preeclampsia or eclampsia were at higher risk of end-stage renal disease than those who had gestational hypertension only."
There is scarce data to indicate a link between hypertension during pregnancy and increased risk of end stage renal disease. However, this study supports findings from a previous Norwegian study that found associations between hypertensive disorders and the development of kidney diseases.
The authors conclude:
"Close surveillance for microalbuminuria, blood pressure and diabetes should be considered for women with a history of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. Preventive strategies, such as pharmacologic or lifestyle interventions, should also be considered for women at high risk of end-stage renal disease."
Dr. Julia Spaan from Maastricht University Medical Center, the Netherlands, and Prof. Dr. Mark Brown from the University of New South Wales, Australia add:
"This study by Wang and colleagues is timely because it shows the importance of hypertension during pregnancy as a marker for future chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
It also highlights one of the current pitfalls of clinical practice: although these women have great attention paid to their high blood pressure during pregnancy, there is no structured follow-up of blood pressure or cardiovascular and renal risk factors after pregnancy. Better surveillance after pregnancy should help prevent not only chronic kidney disease but also cardiovascular disease."
Finish scientists reported in the journal Neurology that mothers with high blood pressure during pregnancy carry a higher risk of having children with lower IQs.
Written by Joseph Nordqvist