The impact of maternal hyperglycaemia first detected in pregnancy on offspring blood pressure in Soweto, South Africa

Brittany A Boerstra, Larske M Soepnel, Veronique Nicolaou, Andrea Kolkenbeck-Ruh, Juliana Kagura, Lisa J Ware, Shane A Norris, Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The long-term consequences for offspring born to mothers with hyperglycaemia first detected in pregnancy (HFDP) are not yet well understood and its influence on childhood blood pressure has not previously been assessed in sub-Saharan Africa.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between maternal HFDP and offspring blood pressure in 3 to 6-year-old children in Soweto, South Africa.

METHODS: Oscillometric blood pressure was measured in 189 children born to mothers with and without HFDP diagnosed by 75 g 2-h oral glucose tolerance test. The 2017 AAP Guidelines for Childhood Hypertension were used as reference standard, and the term 'elevated blood pressure' referred to blood pressure readings above the 90th percentile for age, height and sex. The association between maternal HFDP and offspring blood pressure was analysed using multivariable linear regression.

RESULTS: Elevated blood pressure was identified in 49.7% of children. Maternal hyperglycaemia was not associated with offspring blood pressure when adjusted for offspring age, height and sex (SBP: 0.199, P = 0.888; DBP: 0.185, P = 0.837) or after multivariable adjustment (SBP: -0.286, P = 0.854; DBP: 0.215, P = 0.833). In the full model for SBP, child BMI age z-score was a significant predictor of blood pressure at 3-6 years (1.916, P = 0.008).

CONCLUSION: Although maternal HFDP was not associated with childhood blood pressure at 3-6 years, the prevalence of elevated blood pressure in this group of preschool-aged children is concerning. Future research is needed to further evaluate childhood obesity as a modifiable risk factor to reduce hypertension and cardiovascular risk in an African setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-977
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Volume40
Issue number5
Early online date9 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • blood pressure
  • childhood obesity
  • gestational diabetes mellitus
  • hyperglycaemia in pregnancy
  • paediatric hypertension
  • South Africa

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