Additional Folic Acid During Pregnancy Is Linked To Lower High Blood Pressure Risk In Kids

A new study suggests that higher folic acid levels in pregnant women can lead to lower high blood pressure risks in kids if their mothers have heart disease risks. The said study is able to show that better nutrition can benefit kids if mothers have heart disease risk factors. The findings were published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

Researchers from the University of Boston looked into data from almost 1,300 mother and child pairs from birth records at the Boston Medical Center. The mother and child pairs were then followed from 2003 until 2014. Around two-thirds of the group were black and nearly 20 percent were Hispanic. From the data gathered, the researchers wanted to know whether a woman’s folic acid levels during pregnancy and heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes can have an impact on the child’s own blood pressure.

The data showed that nearly 29 percent of the children had an elevated systolic blood pressure, the top number from a blood pressure reading, from the ages 3 to 9 years old. Children with higher blood pressure tend to have mothers having pre-pregnancy obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. In addition, the children were also more likely to have a lower birth weight, lower gestational age, and higher BMI or body mass index.

The data also indicated that pregnant women with higher folic acid levels during pregnancy were associated with around 40 percent lower high blood pressure among kids born from mothers with heart disease risk factors. The said study also found out that the pregnant woman also need to have heart disease risk factors for the folic acid levels to make a difference.

According to Dr. Xiaobin Wang, a pediatrician from Boston University and the senior corresponding author of the said study, “Our findings raise the possibility that early risk assessment and intervention before conception and during pregnancy may lead to new ways to prevent high blood pressure and its consequences across life span and generations.”

Source: Medline Plus