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Common illness in pregnant mums linked to high risk of death in children

MUMS-to-be with this common illness are more likely to see their children die before they turn 19, a study claims.

The condition, which triggers raised blood pressure in mothers, can cause several deadly diseases in children in later life.

Children exposed to eclampsia in the womb are particularly at risk to killer diseases

Gestational hypertension – otherwise known as pregnancy induced high blood pressure – affects up to 10 per cent of all mothers-to-be.

It has long been known that unborn babies exposed to high blood pressure are more at risk of developing health conditions as they get older.

However, researchers from Denmark and China have now found that children exposed to the condition in the womb are 26 per cent more likely to die before the age of 19 than those who were not exposed.

This was found to be true even after researchers took into account factors such as mother’s education level, income, living arrangements, smoking during pregnancy.

These children were more likely to die of digestive, endocrine, nutritional, metabolic and heart disease, experts found.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), is based off the heath records of over two million people in Denmark.

Maternal blood pressure disorders can include several different conditions including pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, and hypertension.

Children exposed to eclampsia in the womb are particularly at risk to developing killer diseases.

According to the paper, these children are up to 188 per cent more likely to die before the age of 19 than children not exposed to eclampsia in the womb.

Babies who’s mothers had pre-eclampsia and hypertension are 29 per cent and 12 per cent more likely to die before adulthood, respectively.

The researchers called for further research to examine reasons behind maternal hypertension and early death in children,

Previously, experts have said that mums-to-be with raised blood pressure are significantly more likely to suffer a miscarriage, a study suggests.

What are the symptoms of gestational hypertension?

  • Headache that doesn’t go away
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Vision changes, such as blurred or double vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the upper right side of your belly, or pain around your stomach
  • Making small amounts of urine

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