Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High blood pressure in early pregnancy raises risk of birth defects, irrespective of medication, study finds

Date:
October 27, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Women with high blood pressure (hypertension) in the early stages of pregnancy are more likely to have babies with birth defects, irrespective of commonly prescribed medicines for their condition, finds new research.

Women with high blood pressure (hypertension) in the early stages of pregnancy are more likely to have babies with birth defects, irrespective of commonly prescribed medicines for their condition, finds new research published online in the British Medical Journal.

The finding suggests that it is the underlying hypertension, rather than the use of antihypertensive drugs in early pregnancy, that increases the risk of birth defects.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are a type of antihypertensive medication commonly prescribed to tackle hypertension. It is already known that they have a toxic effect on fetuses in the second or third trimesters, but their effects on a fetus during the mother's first trimester is still unclear.

So researchers led by Dr De-Kun Li of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute in California, set out to see if there was an association between using ACE inhibitors during a woman's first trimester and birth defects.

They studied data on 465,754 mother-infant pairs from the Kaiser Permanente Northern Californian region between 1995 and 2008. Data was also available on which medications had been prescribed and dispensed to these women.

Analysis showed that women who used ACE inhibitors in their first trimester were more likely to have a baby with some form of birth defect compared with women who did not have hypertension or who had not used any form of antihypertensive medication.

However, a similar elevated risk was found among women who used other antihypertensive drugs and those with hypertension who did not take any antihypertensive medication.

The researchers conclude: "Our finding suggests that it is likely the underlying hypertension rather than use of antihypertensive drugs in the first trimester that increases the risk of birth defects in offspring."

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Allen Mitchell from Boston University says that -- based on the available studies -- it would appear reasonable to conclude that first-trimester exposure to ACE inhibitors poses no greater risk of birth defects than other antihiypertensives, and that it is the underlying hypertension that places the fetus at risk.

He believes that, while clinicians must certainly identify and control hypertension, particularly in pregnancy, "we have much to learn about how hypertension can cause birth defects."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. D.-K. Li, C. Yang, S. Andrade, V. Tavares, J. R. Ferber. Maternal exposure to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in the first trimester and risk of malformations in offspring: a retrospective cohort study. BMJ, 2011; 343 (oct18 1): d5931 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d5931
  2. A. A. Mitchell. Fetal risk from ACE inhibitors in the first trimester. BMJ, 2011; 343 (oct18 1): d6667 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d6667

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "High blood pressure in early pregnancy raises risk of birth defects, irrespective of medication, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020025652.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, October 27). High blood pressure in early pregnancy raises risk of birth defects, irrespective of medication, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020025652.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "High blood pressure in early pregnancy raises risk of birth defects, irrespective of medication, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020025652.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins