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Study: High blood pressure during pregnancy can impact the brain

Study: High blood pressure during pregnancy can impact the brain (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Heart specialists at St. Elizabeth's Heart and Vascular unit say there is yet another reason for all of us to watch our blood pressure, but especially those planning a pregnancy.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says high blood pressure when you are pregnant has now been linked to future heart problems for mom.

Researchers studied data from more than 220,000 women.

They found those with preeclampsia or gestational high blood pressure in at least one pregnancy were more likely to develop chronic high blood pressure in the future.

It found these women were more prone to developing heart conditions including valve disease, coronary artery disease, and even heart failure.

And it may play a role in your future brain health if left untreated:

"Most people don't understand that when the blood pressure goes higher, every time, it impacts the brain," said Dr. DP Suresh. "So, you're slowly increasing your pressure, and in some people it's high and they don't even know. Small arteries can be damaged, you're basically having mini-strokes without you knowing at all. Fast-forward ten years in your life, next thing you know you're having memory loss. People are saying you may have dementia, all because your blood pressure was not treated."

So the magic number is 120 over 70 or below to reduce these future complications.

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