WASHINGTON - Healthy women who experience high blood pressure during pregnancy risk future complications like chronic hypertension, diabetes and blood clots, according to a new study.
The findings show that women who have had two pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia are at an even higher risk of hypertension after pregnancy.
The investigators conducted a retrospective study of over 11 million women who gave birth in Denmark from 1978 to 2007. Of those women with pre-eclampsia, a complication of pregnancy linked to life-threatening cardiovascular disease, the risks of subsequent hypertension risks were compounded with each affected pregnancy.
‘The only reliable treatment for pre-eclampsia is delivery of the baby,’ said senior author Michael J. Paidas, associate professor in obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at Yale University School of Medicine.
‘But while delivery may ‘cure’ pre-eclampsia in (sic) the moment, these mothers are at high risk of chronic hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus and blood clots for the rest of their lives.’
Paidas said the research adds to growing data on the link between hypertensive pregnancy disorders and subsequent death and ischemic heart disease, said a Yale release.
Paidas and his team are conducting ongoing studies to explore the genetic links between pregnancy complications, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
These findings were presented in an abstract at the Society for Maternal Foetal Medicine Scientific meetings in San Diego, California, by co-author Jacob Alexander Lykke, University of Copenhagen.