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Vit D deficiency can lead to hypertension

Researchers have provided evidence for low levels of vitamin D having a causal role in the development of high blood pressure (hypertension).

The findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation could be effective in combating some cases of hypertension.

Study leader Professor Elina Hypponen from the University of South Australia, said in view of the costs and side effects associated with antihypertensive drugs, the potential to prevent or reduce blood pressure and therefore the risk of hypertension with vitamin D is very attractive.

The Mendelian randomisation study used genetic data from the D-CarDia collaboration, involving over 146,500 individuals of European ancestry from across Europe and North America.

Researchers used two common genetic variants that affect circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D concentrations (which are generally used to determine a person’s vitamin D status), to measure the causal effect between vitamin D status and blood pressure and hypertension risk.

They found that for each 10 per cent increase in 25(OH)D concentration there was a drop in diastolic blood pressure (-0.29 mm Hg) and systolic blood pressure (-0.37 mm Hg), and an 8.1 per cent decrease in the odds of developing hypertension.

According to Professor Hypponen, “Mendelian randomisation helps to determine cause and effect because by using genetic data we can better avoid confounding, reverse causation, and bias. However, further studies using randomised controlled trials are also needed to confirm causality and the potential clinical benefits of vitamin D supplementation.”
Obesity before pregnancy linked to preterm births

Researchers have claimed that women, who are obese before they become pregnant, face an increased risk of delivering a very premature baby.

The findings from the Stanford University School of Medicine provide important clues as to what triggers extremely preterm births, specifically those that occur prior to 28 weeks of pregnancy. The study found no link between maternal obesity and premature births that happen between 28 and 37 weeks of the normal 40-week gestation period.

To focus on spontaneous preterm births, the researchers excluded from analysis women who were pregnant with twins or other multiples, as well as women with illnesses previously linked to prematurity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure o
Births were classified by gestational age, and many factors about the mothers were considered in the analysis, including body mass index, race/ethnicity, whether they were first-time mothers, educational attainment, when prenatal care began, source of health insurance, maternal age and maternal height.

For first-time mothers, obesity was linked with a substantial increase in risk of delivery before 28 weeks of pregnancy. The risk was highest at the earliest gestational ages and also at the highest levels of obesity. Obese women having their second or later child were also more likely to deliver very early than normal-weight women, though the risk was less pronounced than for first-time mothers.
Having babies later in life may help women live longer

Researchers have claimed that women who embraced motherhood later in their lives have greater odds for surviving to an unusually old age.

In the nested case-control study, which used Long Life Family Study data, 311 women who survived past the oldest fifth percentile of survival were identified as cases, along with 151 women who died at ages younger than the top fifth percentile of survival who were identified as controls.

Looking at the cases of all 462 women, the study found a significant association for older maternal age, whereby women who had their last child beyond age 33 years had twice the odds for survival to the top fifth percentile of survival for their birth cohorts compared with women who had their last child by age 29 years. More specifically, women between the ages of 33 and 37 having their last child had an odds ratio of 2.08. The odds ratio for older women was 1.92. It was also observed that having more children (identified as three or more) tempered the association between increased maternal age and later survival. 

According to the authors, the fact that numerous studies have documented the same relationship between older maternal age at birth and exceptional survival provides evidence for sustained reproductive fitness, with age as a selective force for genetic variants conducive to longer life. NAMS Executive Director, Margery Gass, MD said that these findings support the need to conduct additional studies that identify the various genetic influences on reproductive fitness, as these could also influence the rate of aging and a woman’s susceptibility to age-related diseases.

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