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Hypertension in women 'increases risk of birth defects in offspring'

Women with high hypertension in the early stages of pregnancy are more likely to have babies with birth defects, irrespective of commonly prescribed drugs for their condition, according to US research.

They studied data on 465,754 pairs of mothers and infants between 1995 and 2008.

They said: “It is likely the underlying hypertension rather than use of antihypertensive drugs in the first trimester that increases the risk of birth defects in offspring.”

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