Childhood Blood Pressure, Carotid Intima Media Thickness, and Distensibility After In Utero Exposure to Gestational Hypertensive Disorders

Clarissa J. Wiertsema, Vincent W.V. Jaddoe, Annemarie G.M.G.J. Mulders, Romy Gaillard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


Background Offspring exposed to gestational hypertensive disorders have higher blood pressure and increased risk of stroke in later life. Gestational hypertensive disorders might influence vascular development in the offspring, predisposing them to a higher blood pressure and stroke in later life. Methods and Results In a population-based cohort among 4777 mother-offspring pairs, we examined whether gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and higher gestational blood pressure across the full blood pressure spectrum were associated with offspring blood pressure, carotid intima media thickness, and distensibility at the age of 10 years. Offspring exposed to gestational hypertension, but not preeclampsia, had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure (0.17 [95% CI, 0.02-0.31] and 0.23 [95% CI, 0.08-0.38] increases in standard deviation scores, respectively), whereas no associations with intima media thickness and distensibility were present. Higher maternal systolic and diastolic blood pressure in early, mid, and late pregnancy were associated with higher offspring systolic and diastolic blood pressure and lower distensibility (P values <0.05), but not with intima media thickness. The associations were not explained by maternal, birth, or child factors. Paternal systolic and diastolic blood pressure were also associated with these offspring outcomes (P values <0.05), with a comparable strength as maternal-offspring associations. Conclusions Gestational hypertension and higher gestational blood pressure, even below the diagnostic threshold for gestational hypertensive disorders, are associated with higher offspring blood pressure and lower carotid distensibility. No associations were found for preeclampsia with offspring vascular outcomes. As maternal-offspring and paternal-offspring associations were comparable, these associations are more likely driven by genetic predisposition and shared lifestyle rather than by a direct intrauterine effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere023163
Pages (from-to)e023163
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number3
Early online date19 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


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