Leading Edge / Spring 2000
Pressure on the Womb

Blood pressure medication during pregnancy lowers child’s birth weight


Pregnant women who take medication to treat mild to moderate increases in blood pressure may be harming the health of their unborn children. Researchers from U of T, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children examined data from 45 randomized studies involving almost 4,000 women who took blood pressure medication during pregnancy and found that many of these women’s children were born with a lower-than-average birth weight. About half of the growth reduction was attributed to the blood pressure treatments – an impact similar to that caused by smoking. Such growth impairment in an unborn child could increase the risk of health problems for newborns and affect childhood development, says senior study author Dr. Laura Magee.


Reader Comments

# 1
Posted by Scott Anderson on April 29th, 2009 @ 8:28 am

I find that I must take exception to the way this issue is presented. It is understandable to point a finger of culpability at pregnant women who smoke and drink during their pregnancies and thus endanger the lives of their unborn children. It is another issue entirely to imply that pregnant women who follow a doctor’s prescription for blood pressure medication are harming their unborn children. I believe the culpability resides with the doctors who prescribe such medication for pregnant women to treat mild to moderate increases in blood pressure.

Jenny L. Amy
MLS 1976
Southampton, Ontario

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