To Your Health
April, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 04)
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High BP Ups Miscarriage Risk

By Editorial Staff

A miscarriage can be an emotionally crippling experience for expectant parents, particularly the mother, who can also suffer health complications. Chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus can lead to miscarriage, and maternal health can also play a role. Diabetes, hormonal problems, thyroid disease, weight and smoking all increase miscarriage risk. Research is also suggesting high blood pressure – even slightly high BP – can play a role.

Research findings published in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association, suggest every 10 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure increases miscarriage risk by 8 percent; while each 10 mmHg increase in diastolic BP increases miscarriage risk by 18 percent. According to the study, these findings hold true even in women whose blood pressure is in the healthy range prior to becoming pregnant.

High blood pressure is defined as systolic BP of 130 mmHg or higher and diastolic BP of 80 mmHg or higher. In the study in question, average blood pressure was 112 (systolic) over 73 (diastolic) at the start of the study. So, even in women with blood pressure in the healthy, non-hypertensive range before pregnancy, increases in BP elevated miscarriage risk, emphasizing the importance of healthy habits before and during pregnancy to keep BP and other health markers in the safe range. Talk to your doctor to learn more.