New study out on maternal hypertensive pregnancy disorders and risk of mental disorders in children

A new study by Marius Lahti-Pulkkinen and others was recently published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.  Quoting the press release:


“A Finnish study of 4,743 mother-child pairs found associations between hypertensive pregnancy disorders – including chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and eclampsia – and childhood mental disorders. Preeclampsia is a common pregnancy complication often characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, which indicates damage to other organs including the liver and kidneys. Eclampsia is a severe complication of preeclampsia in which high blood pressure during pregnancy results in seizures.”

Maternal preeclampsia and its severity were associated with an increase in the risk of any childhood mental disorder and psychological development and behavioral and emotional disorders in the offspring.


“While previous studies have shown significant effects of preeclampsia on ADHD, autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia in the offspring, a novel aspect of our findings was that the predisposing effects of maternal preeclampsia extended to any childhood mental disorder in the offspring.”

“The findings emphasize the need for preventive interventions and treatments for maternal hypertensive disorders, since such interventions have the potential to benefit both the well-being of the expectant mother and her offspring [and] shed important new light on the etiology of childhood mental disorders. This information may help in targeting preventive interventions and support for families at risk, and aid clinicians in understanding issues and the underlying causes of childhood mental disorders.”

Read the full press release here!