Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight!

Lower Blood Pressure for Mother’s

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on December 9, 2008

A recent study examined the long-term effects of pregnancy on blood pressure. Over 2300 women between the ages of 18-30 years-old were tested pre-pregnancy and then periodically between 2-20 years post-pregnancy.

The study found systolic blood pressure to be reduced 2.06 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure 1.50 mm Hg lower after one birth versus women that did not have a child.

Factors such as smoking, medications, birth control, and weight gain were taken into account, but some key factors were not (such as salt intake). So, while the study was not ideal, it does show a promising link between pregnancy and altered endothelial (blood vessel lining) function. I’m sure we’ll learn more about the relationship between pregnancy and long-term blood pressure effects as more studies are completed. Until then it’s good to know there are some potential benefits to help counteract the negatives – increased waist line and reduced HDL good cholesterol.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD


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