BOSTON (CBS) — The number of pregnant women with high blood pressure has spiked over the past four decades, according to a study published in the journal Hypertension.
High blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to significant complications for the mother and baby including stillbirth, stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure.
In this study, researchers analyzed more than 150 million childbirth-related hospitalizations from 1970 until 2010. They found a more than 13-fold increase over the past forty years in women who had high blood pressure before they got pregnant or during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
They say the increase is largely due to more women becoming pregnant later in life.