Antenatal Programming of Hypertension: Paradigms, Paradoxes, and How We Move Forward

Andrew M. South*, Norrina B. Allen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Synthesize the clinical, epidemiological, and preclinical evidence for antenatal programming of hypertension and critically appraise paradigms and paradoxes to improve translation. Recent Findings: Clinical and epidemiological studies persistently demonstrate that antenatal factors contribute to programmed hypertension under the developmental origins of health and disease framework, including lower birth weight, preterm birth, and fetal growth restriction. Preclinical mechanisms include preeclampsia, maternal diabetes, maternal undernutrition, and antenatal corticosteroid exposure. However, clinical and epidemiological studies to date have largely failed to adequately identify, discuss, and mitigate many sources and types of bias in part due to heterogeneous study designs and incomplete adherence to scientific rigor. These limitations have led to incomplete and biased paradigms as well as persistent paradoxes that have significantly limited translation into clinical and population health interventions. Summary: Improved understanding of these paradigms and paradoxes will allow us to substantially move the field forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-667
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent hypertension reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Causal inference
  • Developmental origins of health and disease
  • Growth restriction
  • Life course
  • Low birth weight
  • Nephron number
  • Preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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