Initiation of hypertension in utero and its amplification throughout life

C. M. Law*, M. De Swiet, C. Osmond, P. M. Fayers, D. J.P. Barker, A. M. Cruddas, C. H.D. Fall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

503 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective - To determine whether the relation between high blood pressure and low birth weight is initiated in utero or during infancy, and whether it changes with age. Design - A longitudinal study of children and three follow up studies of adults. Setting - Farnborough, Preston, and Hertfordshire, England, and a national sample in Britain. Subjects - 1895 children aged 0-10 years, 3240 men and women aged 36 years, 459 men and women aged 46-54 years, and 1231 men and women aged 59-71 years. The birth weight of all subjects had been recorded. Main outcome measures - Systolic blood pressure. Results - At all ages beyond infancy people who had lower birth weight had higher systolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure was not related to growth during infancy independently of birth weight. The relation between systolic pressure and birth weight became larger with increasing age so that, after current body mass was allowed for, systolic pressure at ages 64-71 years decreased by 5.2 mm Hg (95% confidence interval 1.8 to 8.6) for every kg increase in birth weight. Conclusions - Essential hypertension is initiated in fetal life. A raised blood pressure is then amplified from infancy to old age, perhaps by a positive feedback mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-27
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Volume306
Issue number6869
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 1993

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Blood Pressure
Hypertension
Birth Weight
Low Birth Weight Infant
England
Longitudinal Studies
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Confidence Intervals
Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Law, C. M., De Swiet, M., Osmond, C., Fayers, P. M., Barker, D. J. P., Cruddas, A. M., & Fall, C. H. D. (1993). Initiation of hypertension in utero and its amplification throughout life. British Medical Journal, 306(6869), 24-27. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.306.6869.24

Initiation of hypertension in utero and its amplification throughout life. / Law, C. M.; De Swiet, M.; Osmond, C.; Fayers, P. M.; Barker, D. J.P.; Cruddas, A. M.; Fall, C. H.D.

In: British Medical Journal, Vol. 306, No. 6869, 02.01.1993, p. 24-27.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Law, CM, De Swiet, M, Osmond, C, Fayers, PM, Barker, DJP, Cruddas, AM & Fall, CHD 1993, 'Initiation of hypertension in utero and its amplification throughout life', British Medical Journal, vol. 306, no. 6869, pp. 24-27. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.306.6869.24
Law, C. M. ; De Swiet, M. ; Osmond, C. ; Fayers, P. M. ; Barker, D. J.P. ; Cruddas, A. M. ; Fall, C. H.D. / Initiation of hypertension in utero and its amplification throughout life. In: British Medical Journal. 1993 ; Vol. 306, No. 6869. pp. 24-27.
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