Study Finds That Preeclampsia In Pregnancy Can Cause Heart Problems

A recent study shared that developing Preeclampsia can increase the chances of having heart problems in the future.

A Norwegian study compares high blood pressure in pregnancy to those who do not suffer from high blood pressure. The research showed that women who developed high blood pressure during pregnancy had a much higher chance to have a heart attack or a stroke when they get older. Women who developed hypertensive disorder (blood pressure) during pregnancy are 57% more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke at some point in their lives compared to those women who did not develop high blood pressure.

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“We knew that women who experienced hypertensive disorders in pregnancy have a 2-fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women without these complications,” said lead study author Eirin Beate Haug of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.  Haug shares that through the current study they learned that most of the excess cardiovascular risks in women that developed hypertension during pregnancy can be explained by higher levels of traditional cardiovascular factors. Some of the factors include blood pressure and BMI.

From The Grapevine

Having high blood pressure and a high BMI explains almost 77% of the excess risk of events such as heart attacks and strokes among women who developed hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. Women who had gestational hypertension during pregnancy were 64% more likely to have heart attacks or strokes when they are 40 to 70 years old. Women with a history of hypertension during pregnancy were also 47% more likely to develop heart failure and 40% more likely to have a stroke. Women who developed a more serious form of hypertension, called preeclampsia, have a higher chance of having a stroke or heart attack later in life. Women who developed preeclampsia during pregnancy were 78% more likely to have a heart attack, 83% more likely to have heart failure, and 46% more likely to have a stroke between ages 40 and 70 compared to women without pregnancy high blood pressure.

Experts advise pregnant women to make sure that they are keeping their weight and their blood pressure in a healthy range. Laura Benschop, a researcher at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam said that "women should be aware of these cardiovascular risk factors and check their blood pressure and BMI regularly (annually) after pregnancy." Women should be regularly seeing their doctor before, during and after pregnancy to monitor their blood pressure, body mass index, glucose, and cholesterol.

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