Miscarriages can occur in about 8-20 percent women before the 20th week of pregnancy; for women who know that they are pregnant. New research suggests that even a slight increase in preconception blood pressure amongst healthy women may increase the risk of pregnancy loss or miscarriage.
The Rotterdam study looked at 1,228 women between 2007 and 2011. The healthy range for blood pressure is systolic level between 90-120 mmHg and a diastolic level between 60-80 mmHg. The average blood pressure of the study group was 112 mmHg the systolic level and 73 mmHg for the diastolic level, i.e. within the healthy range. The researchers took account of the women’s fertility treatment, age, body mass index, race, marital status, smoking, parity, and time since last loss. They discovered that for each 10 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure (the top number) there was a 17 percent increase in the risk of pregnancy loss. In addition, for every 10 mmHg increase in diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) there was an 18 percent increase in pregnancy loss.
This study highlights the importance of healthy nutrition and lifestyle support for women who are planning to conceive. Furthermore, it was reported that Dr Laura Benschop, one of the researchers involved in the study, recommended that all women of reproductive age should take steps to keep their blood pressure at a healthy level, even if they are not planning to have a baby or not had a history of miscarriage.