Increased cardiovascular risk if mother had high blood pressure in pregnancy

All children of mothers with hypertension in one or more pregnancies might have increased lifetime cardiovascular risk, according to the PhD research of Ingvild Vatten Alsnes.


  1. Women with mild or moderate preeclampsia have increased cardiovascular risk factors eleven years later.
  2. The children of these women do not seem to have increased cardiovascular risk.
  3. Cardiovascular risk factors are higher in young adults born by mothers with hypertension in pregnancy.


Thesis: A study of the association between hypertension in pregnancy and metabolic and hormonal risk factor profiles in mothers and their offspring in later life
Candidate: Ingvild Vatten Alsnes
Time: May 3, 2018 at 12:15
Place: St. Olavs Hospital: Norwegian Brain Center, Auditorium MTA
Link to university website (in Norwegian)


(1) Eleven years after pregnancy, blood sugar, insulin resistance, blood pressure and BMI were higher in women with mild or moderate preeclampsia. These women also had lower HDL cholesterol than other mothers. In women with severe preeclampsia, the researchers found no increase in cardiovascular risk factors eleven years later.

The study compares 228 mother-offspring dyads with preeclampsia with 383 mother-offspring dyads without preeclampsia. Among the children, there was no substantial difference in cardiovascular risk factors between the two groups.

(3) All children of mothers with hypertension in one or more pregnancies might have increased lifetime cardiovascular risk. Young adults had higher blood pressure, increased BMI and waist circumference and a more adverse lipid profile if their mother had hypertension in the pregnancy. Their siblings from uncomplicated pregnancies also had increased cardiovascular risk compared to offspring of mothers with no hypertension in any pregnancy. The authors conclude that common lifestyle or genetic factors probably explain the increased risk among these young adults, and not hypertension in pregnancy per se.

The study is based on data from a total of 15 778 participants in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, and includes 210 groups of siblings and 706 offspring of mothers with hypertension in pregnancy.

(2) The final study looks at hormonal status in 11-12-year-olds who were born after a pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia.


(1) Alsnes, I. V., Janszky, I., Forman, M. R., Vatten, L. J., & Økland, I. (2014). A population-based study of associations between preeclampsia and later cardiovascular risk factorsAmerican Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology211(6), 657-e1.

(2) Alsnes, I. V., Janszky, I., Åsvold, B. O., Økland, I., Forman, M. R., & Vatten, L. J. (2016). Maternal preeclampsia and androgens in the offspring around puberty: a follow-up studyPloS one11(12), e0167714.

(3) Alsnes, I. V., Vatten, L. J., Fraser, A., Bjørngaard, J. H., Rich-Edwards, J., Romundstad, P. R., & Åsvold, B. O. (2017). Hypertension in pregnancy and offspring cardiovascular risk in young adulthood: prospective and sibling studies in the HUNT Study (Nord-Trøndelag Health Study) in NorwayHypertension, HYPERTENSIONAHA-116.

Norheart uses cookies for analytical purposes, content and ads customisation, and to further develop our services.
Learn more
Show again