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Hypertension During Pregnancy Can Increase Later Risk of Heart Disease

Research published today in the journal Circulation has found that women with high blood pressure in pregnancy, including conditions such as preeclampsia, have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disorders later in life, including stroke and heart failure.

Led by King’s College London, the team of researchers studied electronic health records from 1997 to 2016 to recreate a UK population-based cohort of 1.3 million women covering nearly 1.9 million completed pregnancies. They used statistical analysis to determine the associations between hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia with 12 cardiovascular disorders.

High blood pressure in pregnancy affects up to 10% of pregnancies often causing complications in the woman and requiring early delivery of their baby.

Women who had one or more pregnancies affected by preeclampsia or other types of pregnancy hypertension were more likely to have a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or similar event.

Women with pregnancy high blood pressure had twice the number of deaths in this follow-up period from cardiovascular disease compared with women without pregnancy high blood pressure. These women also developed chronic hypertension 4.5 times faster than women without pregnancy high blood pressure.

The increased risk that occurred in those women with previous pregnancy high blood pressure was found as early as one year after pregnancy compared to women without pregnancy high blood pressure.

Journal information: Circulation

Provided by King’s College London

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