High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Linked to Thinking Problems Later

March 2, 2023

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Linked to Thinking Problems LaterHigh blood pressure disorders during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of thinking problems later in life, according to a study published in the March 1, 2023, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers found that people with these disorders had a higher risk of cognitive problems in later life than those who did not have high blood pressure during pregnancy.

They also found that people with preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure that develops halfway through pregnancy and usually involves the kidneys and other organs, may have an even greater risk of cognitive decline later in life compared to those with gestational high blood pressure, a condition with high blood pressure in pregnancy but without affecting the kidneys or other organs.

“While high blood pressure during pregnancy, including preeclampsia, is recognized as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, our study suggests that it may also be a risk factor for cognitive decline in later life,” said study author Michelle M. Mielke, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Read the full release from the American Academy of Neurology.

Media Contact: Myra Wright, mgwright@wakehealth.edu