Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

Font Size

Low Birth Weight May Be Risk for Developing High Blood Pressure


Poulter says he cannot describe the mechanism. "In dizygotic [fraternal] twins -- they have separate placentas -- it may be that one just implanted better than the other. In the monozygotic [identical] twins, they share the same placenta, but one artery from the baby to the placenta was bigger than the other; it was just an unequal distribution of the goodies," he says.

The second study, led by Terence Dwyer, a professor at the University of Tasmania, studied the association between blood pressure and birth weight by analyzing data from almost 900 eight-year-old children. The researchers found that blood pressure decreased with birth weight and increased with current body mass.

Like Poulter, Dwyer and colleagues list unequal distribution of nutrients and oxygen as a possible factor that could be associated with birth weight and blood pressure. They write that reduced nutrient and oxygen availability could lead to permanent adverse programming of the cardiovascular system.

Finally, words of caution from Poulter. "We are not saying maternal smoking [isn't responsible] for small babies; we are not saying that diet doesn't affect the size of the baby," he says. "What we are saying is that it isn't those maternal [factors] which produce a spurious association between birth weight and blood pressure; it is a real association, independent of what the parents do."

"And this also doesn't say that if you're born small, you've had it, you are bound to get hypertension [high blood pressure], or if you are born fat you are bound not to get hypertension," cautions Poulter. "It in no way suggests that the major environmental factors aren't still very valid."


1 | 2

Today on WebMD

blood pressure
Symptoms, causes, and more.
Learn the causes.
Compressed heart
5 habits to change.
Mature man floating in pool, goggles on head
Exercises that help.
heart healthy living
Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
Compressed heart
Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
Heart Foods Slideshow
Low Blood Pressure