Hypertension in reproductive age women, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) is an area that is less explored. This study assesses the risk of hypertension in relation to two critical women’s health issues in the LMICs – child marriage and adolescent childbearing. The health consequences of these issues have been primarily studied in the context of reproductive health. There is a dearth of evidence on the long-term health outcomes associated with these early life events. The current study, by linking child marriage and adolescent motherhood with hypertension in young adult and early middle-aged women, is commensurate with the body of literature that examines the link between potentially early adversity and later life risk of chronic health outcomes. Using the most recent data on 582,358 women aged 20 to 49 years from India, this study examined whether child brides and adolescent mothers at age 20 s, 30 s, and 40 s had a higher risk of having hypertension compared to women who were not married before age 18 years or did not give birth by age 19 years in respective age groups. Estimating multivariable logistic regressions, we found that child brides and adolescent mothers were about 1.2 times more likely to have hypertension later in life. The elevated risk of hypertension among child brides and adolescent mothers were evident at every age group. These results were robust after controlling for various sociodemographic, anthropometric, and behavioral characteristics as well as across urban and rural, and poor and non-poor subgroups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine