Time Magazine highlighted the pioneering work of David Barker, professor of medicine at OHSU in an October 4, 2010 article by Annie Murphy Paul.
Researcher Who Linked Fetal Nutrition to Adult Disease Honored By March of Dimes
30th Anniversary of Agnes Higgins Award Recognizes David Barker, MD, PhD, FRS
Children Born to Mothers With Preeclampsia Are at Increased Risk for Stroke Later in Life
Study suggests preeclampsia damages blood vessels in the baby's brain.
It’s been shown that women who develop preeclampsia are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life, and that their babies have higher blood pressure during childhood. What hasn’t been known are the long-term health risks for these children. A recent study by Oregon Health & Science University researchers found these children are at increased risk for stroke later in life.
Preeclampsia in pregnancy is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Without proper care, the condition can lead to serious complications, including death, for both mother and baby.
Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., and David Barker, M.D., Ph.D., both of the OHSU Heart Research Center, collaborated with Eero Kajantie, M.D., at the National Public Health Institute in Finland and reviewed the maternity records of 6,410 singleton babies born in Helsinki between 1934 and 1944. They found 284 of the pregnancies were complicated by preeclampsia and another 1,592 were complicated by gestational hypertension.
Several years ago, Dr. Kent Thornburg crossed paths with the OHSU chief of cardiac surgery who was on his way to an operation for a child with outflow obstruction to the right ventricle. (The right ventricle had to work terribly hard to pump blood through that vessel.) When the chief wondered out loud what happened to the heart muscle when this happens, Thornburg knew there was a problem with his organization. “There are people in my lab who are working on that problem,” he told his colleague. The chief had no idea.