Health Discoveries in General Health News

Prenatal tests don't increase high blood pressure in pregnancy

October 27, 2010
Contrary to previous research, a new study indicates that a woman's risk of having pregnancy-related high blood pressure doesn't increase if she has a prenatal test for genetic abnormalities.

Published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, a research team from King's College Hospital in London followed more than 31,000 pregnant women, including 2,278 who underwent a test for chorionic villus sampling (CVS).

The test involves taking a tissue sample from the placenta between weeks 10 and 12 of pregnancy to detect Down syndrome and other genetic disorders. Women who are 35 and older or have a family history with a genetic disorder are considered at higher risk and recommended to have the procedure done.

Among the participants, 3 percent of the women developed pregnancy-related high blood pressure and 2 percent developed preeclampsia, a sudden increase in blood pressure during pregnancy. But the research team found no difference in the percentages of either condition between those who underwent CVS and those who didn't have the test.

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the Cohen Children's Medical Center has an Echocardiography Lab that performs more than 8,000 examinations annually to identify acquired and congenital heart disease - one of the most common birth defects - in fetuses, infants, children and adolescents.
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