(HealthDay News) — Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, including preeclampsia, increase the risk for 12 cardiovascular disorders and chronic hypertension, according to a study published in Circulation.

Lydia J. Leon, PhD, from King’s College London, and colleagues used linked electronic health records (1997 to 2016) to evaluate the association between preeclampsia and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and subsequent diagnosis of 12 cardiovascular disorders. The analysis included 1.3 million women with nearly 1.9 million completed pregnancies (mean age at delivery, 28 years).

The researchers found that during the 20-year period, there were 18,624 incident cardiovascular disorders, 65% of which occurred in women <40 years. Women with at least 1 pregnancy affected by preeclampsia had a higher risk for stroke (hazard ratio [HR], 1.9), cardiac atherosclerotic events (HR, 1.67), peripheral events (HR, 1.82), heart failure (HR, 2.13), atrial fibrillation (HR, 1.73), cardiovascular death (HR, 2.12), and chronic hypertension (HR, 4.47) compared with women without hypertension in pregnancy. Based on preeclampsia status, differences in cumulative incidence curves were apparent within one year of the first index pregnancy. Similar patterns were seen for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and preterm preeclampsia.

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“Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy should be considered as a natural screening tool for cardiovascular events, enabling cardiovascular risk prevention through national initiatives,” the authors write.


Leon LJ, McCarthy FP, Direk K, et al. Preeclampsia and Cardiovascular Disease in a Large UK Pregnancy Cohort of Linked Electronic Health Records
A CALIBER Study. Circ. 2019;140:1050–1060.

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