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High blood pressure may raise future kidney disease risk for pregnant women

Laura Williamson, American Heart Association News

Feb. 25, 2022

Women with high blood pressure conditions during pregnancy may face double the risk for kidney disease within several years after giving birth, according to a new study that finds the risk climbs to nearly fourfold for women who already had high blood pressure before pregnancy.

The study, published Friday in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, found the risk was higher for Black women than white women.

While previous research has looked at pregnancy-related high blood pressure and kidney disease, the new study's authors said those analyses did not include a diverse racial representation – even though Black women have higher rates of these conditions than their white peers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women also are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related problems than white women.

It all underscores the need for good prenatal care, said study co-author Dulaney Wilson, a research assistant professor in the department of public health sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

"Whoever is taking care of these women, they need to be aware that kidney disease – though the overall rate is still low – could be a serious problem," Wilson said. "This is something we'd like to prevent if at all possible."


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