Stress in pregnancy could decrease birthweight

February 7, 2008 1:19:00 PM PST
Pregnant women with both high stress levels and high blood pressure may be at increased risk of having an underweight baby.

The new study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine also found the combination of high stress and elevated blood pressure was twice as common among African-American women versus Caucasian women. They say this study could help explain why African-American women are at particular risk of having a low birth weight baby.

Scientists also say this suggests pregnant women with high blood pressure and chronic stress should be monitored more closely.