HealthDay News — Women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life, with most of the increased risk conferred by established CVD risk factors, according to a study published in the of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Jennifer J. Stuart, ScD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined the associations between hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and long-term CVD among 60,379 parous participants without CVD in the Nurses’ Health Study II.

The researchers found that compared with women with normotensive pregnancies, women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in first pregnancy had a 63% higher rate of CVD. Established CVD risk factors mediated this association (proportion mediated, 64%). The increased CVD rate was higher for preeclampsia than gestational hypertension (hazard ratios, 1.72 and 1.41, respectively). Established CVD risk factors accounted for 57% and 84% of the increased rate of CVD for preeclampsia and gestational hypertension, respectively.

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“Our findings suggest that screening for and treatment of chronic hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and overweight/obesity following a pregnancy may delay, or even prevent, cardiovascular disease among women with a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text