HealthDay News — Maternal hypertensive pregnancy disorders are associated with increased risk in offspring for any childhood mental disorder, according to a study published online April 20 in Hypertension.

Marius Lahti-Pulkkinen, Ph.D., from the University of Helsinki in Finland, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving 4,743 mother-child dyads to examine whether maternal hypertensive disorders and maximum blood pressure during pregnancy predict offspring childhood mental disorders. Children were born in 2006 to 2010 and were followed until Dec. 31, 2016.

The researchers found that the offspring risks for any childhood mental disorder were increased with maternal gestational and chronic hypertension and preeclampsia and its severity. The associations of preeclampsia and severe preeclampsia were independent of all confounding variables (hazard ratios, 1.66 and 2.01, respectively). The offspring risk for mental disorders was additively increased by maternal hypertensive and diabetes mellitus disorders and overweight/obesity. The effects of any and severe preeclampsia on offspring mental disorders were partially mediated by preterm and small-for-gestational-age births and neonatal intensive care unit admission.

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“Our findings highlight the adverse intergenerational consequences of maternal preeclampsia on offspring mental health,” the authors write.

The study was partially funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

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