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New Study Points To Another Risk Of Hypertension: Lower IQ's

Hypertension is a leading contributing factor for many pregnancy complications and birthing injuries, including preeclampsia. A new study points to yet another potential result of hypertension by concluding that the children of hypertensive mothers are likely to have lower IQ levels later in life.

Maternal hypertension is caused by high blood pressure. As a relatively common pregnancy complication, it affects many Ohio mothers and newborns.

This new study looked at 400 men in Finland. It found that women who suffered from untreated hypertension during pregnancy gave birth to sons with relatively lower adult IQ's. The sons of those mothers scored an average of four points less than other men on an IQ test.

Other studies have already found that premature births and low birth weight correlate with cognitive difficulties like those measured by IQ tests. In that context, this study might show that those lower cognitive levels are actually linked back to hypertension. This is because many premature births are directly tied to hypertensive disorders.

Doctors should recognize the signs of hypertension. An appropriate course of medication can effectively treat and manage the disorder, allowing most mothers to return to a healthier pregnancy. Generally, doctors should also help advise pregnant mothers regarding a healthy diet to further control the risks of high blood pressure.

However, if doctors fail to respond to signs of hypertension, numerous dangerous complications can result. These include preeclampsia and premature births-and both of those conditions can in turn lead to injuries for mothers and newborns.

Source: ABC News, "Maternal Hypertension Linked to Lower IQ," Katie Moisse, Oct. 4, 2012

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