MUMS-to-be with raised blood pressure are significantly more likely to suffer a miscarriage, a study suggests.
Researchers looked at more than 1,200 women trying to conceive.
All the participants had previously suffered at least one miscarriage. They had an average aged of 29 and blood pressure of 112/73 mmHg. Two in three conceived during the six-month trial, with a quarter suffering a miscarriage.
However, US medics found every 10-point increase in their blood pressure readings was linked to 17 per cent higher risk of pregnancy loss.
Up to one in four UK pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Researcher Dr Enrique Schisterman, from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development in Maryland, said: “Our findings suggest that attaining a healthy blood pressure before pregnancy could not only have benefits later in life, but also reduce the chances for pregnancy loss.
“Preconception is a previously unrecognized critical window for intervention such as lifestyle changes that can help prevent later heart disease and may also improve reproductive health.
“Physicians treating women of reproductive age should pay attention to slightly elevated blood pressure.” Raised blood pressure both before conception and in early pregnancy was linked to a higher miscarriage risk.
Experts suggest doctors consider tackling the issue in those suffering repeat losses.
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The findings, published in the journal Hypertension, may help thousands of couples.
Recurrent miscarriages affect around one in 100 and are defined as the loss of three or more consecutive pregnancies.
Lead researcher Dr Carrie Nobles, also from the NICHD, said: “Elevated blood pressure among young adults is associated with a higher risk of heart disease later in life, and this study suggests it may also have an effect on reproductive health.”