Preeclampsia is linked to future high blood pressure in women even before middle age, reports Reuters.

Women who had common blood pressure problems like preeclampsia and gestational hypertension during their first pregnancy had 12 to 25 times higher odds of having elevated blood pressure in the first year after delivery than women who had normal blood pressure during pregnancy, researchers report in The BMJ.

Over the first decade after delivery, women with high blood pressure during pregnancy had 10 times higher chances of developing chronic hypertension, the study also found.

“We already knew that women who had had preeclampsia or gestational hypertension during pregnancy had an increased risk of developing chronic hypertension later in life, but the conventional wisdom was that `later in life’ was years or decades postpartum,” said senior study author Dr. Heather Boyd of the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen.

“We looked year by year, starting right after pregnancy, and found that the risk of chronic hypertension is increased right from the start,” Boyd said by email.