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Are you suffering from pregnancy-induced hypertension? According to a new study, you'd better get that under control or it could affect your baby's IQ for the rest of his life! According to the research published in the American Academy of Neurology journal, hypertension changes the conditions in the womb and interfere's with fetal growth. The study involved around 400 men whose mothers either had hypertension or didn't. Their cognitive abilities were tested when they were 20 years old, and again at around 69 (varying individually). Those study subjects whose mothers suffering from hypertension during pregnancy scored lower points at both stages, and also showed a more rapid decline in intelligence than other men, whose moms did not have high blood pressure.

The participating men took the Finnish Defense Force test to determine their cognitive skills. Having a mom with hypertension during pregnancy lowered their score by just over 4 points on average. The men's mathematical thinking skills were especially affected, interestingly enough. The study team looked to exclude other possible reasons for this gap too premature birth and their father being a manual or office worker appeared to make no difference. The study's lead author Katri Raikonen from the University of Helsinki in Finland pointed out: "High blood pressure and related conditions, such as preeclampsia, complicate about 10 percent of all pregnancies and can affect a baby's environment in the womb.

Our study suggests that even declines in thinking abilities in old age could have originated during the prenatal period when the majority of the development of brain structure and function occurs." This fascinating new report is not the first scientific research to be conducted into high blood pressure during pregnancy, and adverse effects on the baby later in life. Previous research had already indicated a link between maternal high blood pressure and stroke or heart disease later in life. This study is unique in how long it followed the study subjects, and in showing how high blood pressure during pregnancy can leave its mark on the baby's intelligence.

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