Research Indicates The Rate Of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Increased Over Last 40 Years
In the age-period-cohort analysis, the rate of chronic hypertension increased sharply with advancing age and period from 0.11% in 1970 to 1.52% in 2010 (rate ratio, 13.41; 95% CI, 13.22–13.61). While the absolute numbers are not that large, this represents a 13 fold increase. The timespan includes exactly the timing of the introduction of the food pyramid in the late 70’s early 80’s. This study does not address pregnancy associated hypertension PIH and only includes chronic hypertension then present during pregnancy. PIH would likely see an even greater increase. I predict this group will publish those numbers for us in the future. Interestingly, these findings were not altered when corrected for obesity rates, suggesting another inherent problem. I would suggest this is most likely due to insulin resistance (elevated insulin) associated with the dramatic nutritional change observed early in the 40 year time span of this study.
Michael D. Fox, MD