This site is intended for health professionals only

Pre-eclampsia risk to heart disease

Women who experience pre-eclampsia during pregnancy have a greater chance of suffering from heart disease later in life, new research shows.

Pre-eclampsia is a condition where high blood pressure and other factors develop in the second half of pregnancy.

It affects about 5% of all first-time mothers, and can put both the woman and baby at risk.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), analysed 25 studies involving more than three million women.

Women with a history of pre-eclampsia were found to be four times more likely to suffer from hypertension and twice as likely to develop heart disease, stroke, and blood clots when they got older.

A second study in the BMJ also found that women with cardiovascular risk factors prior to pregnancy may be predisposed to pre-eclampsia.

It looked at 3,494 women and measured their blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, weight, and body mass index (BMI) before they fell pregnant.

The odds of pre-eclampsia were seven times greater in women with high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar before pregnancy.

The findings from the researchers in Norway suggest that pre-eclampsia and cardiovascular diseases may share a common origin.


Copyright © PA Business 2007