Can Hypertension Cause Birth Defects?

The Greater Risk: Hypertension or the Treatment?

Women who have high blood pressure in the early stages of their pregnancies are more likely to have babies with birth defects, despite the amount or type of medication they are taking to treat the condition, according to new research.

In the study, researchers looked at 465,754 mother-infant pairs from the Kaiser Permanante Northern California region between 1995 and 2008. In looking at the mothers’ blood pressure levels, the medications they were taking and the prevalence of defects among their babies, the researchers concluded¬† it is likely the underlying high blood pressure, or hypertension,¬† is to blame for the defects, and not the medication the woman was on for it.

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