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    Does preeclampsia increase risk of future CVD?

    According to a new study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, women who develop preeclampsia during pregnancy may be at greater risk of heart disease later in life.

    Researchers performed a systematic search of EMBASE and MEDLINE to identify studies relevant to their line of inquiry and used random-effects meta-analysis to determine risk. They found 22 studies covering more than 6.4 million women including more than 258,000 women with preeclampsia.

    Adjusting for potential confounders, preeclampsia was independently associated with an increased risk of future heart failure (risk ratio [RR], 4.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.09–8.38), stroke (RR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.29–2.55), cardiovascular disease (CVD) death (RR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.83–2.66), and coronary heart disease (CHD) (RR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.43–4.37). Following sensitivity analyses, preeclampsia continued to be associated with an increased risk of future heart disease, heart failure, and stroke after adjustment for age (RR, 3.89; 95% CI, 1.83–8.26), diabetes mellitus (RR, 4.19; 95% CI, 2.09–8.38), and body mass index (RR, 3.16; 95% CI, 1.41–7.07).

    Following their analysis, the researchers concluded that preeclampsia was linked with a 2-fold increased risk of CHD, death because of CVD or CHD and a 4-fold increase in future incident heart failure. They said their findings underscore the need to continually monitor women with a history of preeclampsia for cardiovascular risk factors.

    NEXT: The impact of severe lack of nutrition on risk of psychoses in offspring

    Judith M. Orvos, ELS
    Judith M. Orvos, ELS, is a a BELS-certified medical writer and editor and an editorial consultant for Contemporary OB/GYN.
    Miranda Hester
    Ms. Hester is Content Specialist with Contemporary OB/GYN and Contemporary Pediatrics.

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