Pregnant women with Preeclampsia have a nearly Twofold increased risk of having a Heart attack or Stroke - Even Years Later
27 Jan 2023 • "Women who experience preeclampsia during pregnancy are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke within 20 years of giving birth as pregnant women who did not, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The risks are especially high in the first decade after giving birth, the researchers found.
Preeclampsia is the onset of high blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy combined with signs of organ damage, such as excess protein in the urine. It can occur in up to 8% of pregnancies, and the association between preeclampsia and long-term cardiac risks is well-known. But new research suggests these risks appear much earlier in life than expected — as early as age 30 — at a time when women are often not screened for signs of heart disease.
Sara Hallum, PhD, a co-author of the study & an epidemiologist at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark at the time, along with her colleagues evaluated the medical histories of more than 1.1 million women in Denmark who became pregnant once or twice between 1978 and 2017. Of this group, 3% had experienced preeclampsia. They compared rates of heart attack and stroke between the two groups over time.
While 1.2% of the entire study population had experienced a heart attack or stroke within 20 years of giving birth, 2% of the women with a history of preeclampsia had such an event. Within the first decade after delivery, women with a history of preeclampsia were four times as likely to have a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke as other women.
Women ages 30-39 with a history of preeclampsia were nearly five times as likely to have a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke as similar-aged women. And if a woman gave birth twice and had preeclampsia only during the second pregnancy, she was at especially high risk for a heart attack, the researchers found.
""Women with a history of preeclampsia should be monitored routinely for modifiable risk factors, particularly for increased blood pressure,"" Hallum said. Source: Medscape | Read full story"