Background Childhood and adulthood socio-economic position (SEP) is associated with cardiovascular disease in later life, but associations with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy are not well established.
Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the association of childhood and adulthood SEP with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia).
Method Study participants were Swedish women (n=9507) from generation 3 of the Uppsala Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study (UBCoS Multigen) who delivered a live singleton offspring between 1982 and 2008. Social and health data were obtained from routine Swedish registers. Associations of own education (adulthood SEP), and parental education and social class (childhood SEP) with hypertensive disorders were studied using logistic regression with adjustments for age, calendar period, parity, smoking and body mass index.
Results Low own education was associated with chronic hypertension, but not with gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia/eclampsia. Increased risk of chronic hypertension was seen in women whose mothers had medium education compared with women whose mothers had high education (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.03 to 4.62). Women from a manual social class during childhood had twice the risk of chronic hypertension compared with those from non-manual backgrounds (OR 2.19, 95% CI 1.28 to 3.75). Childhood SEP was not associated with gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia/eclampsia.
Conclusions Childhood and adulthood SEP was associated with chronic hypertension in pregnancy. In contrast, no association with childhood or adulthood SEP was seen for gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia/eclampsia.
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