Preeclampsia is a condition of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Several maternal complications, like organ damage and cognitive impairment, are associated with preeclampsia, but the effects of preeclampsia on the offspring are not well documented. The objective of this study is to investigate the association of preeclampsia and the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in offspring.

This is a population-based, prospective cohort study that included a total of 980,560 singleton children born to mothers with or without maternal preeclampsia. The primary outcomes of the study were associations between maternal preeclampsia and neurodevelopmental disorders in offspring, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), epilepsy, intellectual disability, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and cerebral palsy.

Of 980,560 singleton children, 28,068 were exposed to preeclampsia. The findings suggested that children exposed to maternal preeclampsia were at higher risk of ADHD (adjusted odds ratio 1.18), epilepsy (adjusted OR 1.50), and intellectual disability (aOR 1.50). Besides, substantial associations between preeclampsia and subsequent cerebral palsy in offspring (aOR 1.30) were also confirmed.

The research concluded that apart from being a threat to the mother, preeclampsia also puts the offspring at a higher risk of neurodevelopmental disorders. Children exposed to maternal preeclampsia are at a higher risk of ADHD, epilepsy, intellectual disability, and cerebral palsy.