Pregnancy complications increase cardiovascular risk even in the long term

Pregnancy complications increase cardiovascular risk even in the long term

A total of nearly 84,000 women (3.8%) were diagnosed with ischemic disease at an average age of 58, according to a US-Swedish study

Women who had a major complication during their pregnancy, such as preterm birth, gestational diabetes or preeclampsia (gestational hypertension and albuminuria), have an increased risk of ischemic disease up to 46 years after giving birth, a new US-Swedish scientific study shows. All serious complications of pregnancy should now be recognized as cardiovascular risk factors throughout most of life, according to the research.

The researchers, led by professor of epidemiology Casey Crump of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, who published the relevant publication in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), analyzed data on nearly 2.2 million women, with an average age of 27 years old, no history of cardiovascular disease. During the following decades (mean 25 years, maximum 46 years) complications during pregnancy were associated with the subsequent occurrence of ischemic disease. A total of almost 84,000 women (3.8%) were diagnosed with ischemic disease at a mean age of 58 years.

It was found that those who had a complication in pregnancy, then had an increased cardiovascular risk in the long term. For example, ten years after delivery, the risk of ischemic disease was twice as high in women with hypertensive disorder during pregnancy, 1.7 times higher in those who had delivered prematurely (before 37 weeks), 1.5 times higher in those who had preeclampsia , 1.3 times greater for those with gestational diabetes and 1.1 times for those who had given birth to an underweight baby.

Pregnant women who simultaneously experienced more than one serious complication had a correspondingly higher ischemic risk later in life. In the long term (30 to 46 years after birth), the risk had decreased, but still remained elevated, by 1.1 to 1.5 times.

Ischemic disease is caused by the narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels that supply the heart and is a leading cause of death for women worldwide. Almost one in three pregnant women experience some complication, which increases their risk of future heart problems, so they should consult a doctor early.

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