Mothers with pre-eclampsia may encounter challenges later in life

August 25, 2017

A new study has found that a condition that threatens the lives of some pregnant women and the fetus may continue to put the mother at risk later in life.

Mayo Clinic researchers found that women with a history of pre-eclampsia are more likely to face atherosclerosis - hardening and narrowing of the arteries—decades after their pregnancy. The findings are published in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Pre-eclampsia - a condition in commonly characterized by high blood pressure—typically shows itself 20 weeks into the pregnancy, and can occur suddenly or develop slowly. The complication poses a concern to the mother and fetus, and affects between 2 and 7 percent of pregnancies.

"We've found that pre-eclampsia continues to follow mothers long after the birth of their child," says Vesna Garovic, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. "The good news is that we can use these findings to apply earlier interventions for risk factors before cardiovascular disease presents."

Using health records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project - a collaboration of southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin health care facilities—the research team identified 40 with histories of pre-eclampsia and 40 women with normotensive—or - pregnancy histories.

Carotid artery intima-media thickness, or the thickness of the artery walls, was measured in addition to blood tests. The artery wall thickness of women with a history of pre-eclampsia was significantly greater than those with normotensive pregnancies. These findings were echoed in a study of 10 texts.

"Even without a history of cardiovascular events, women who've had pre-eclampsic pregnancies are facing a higher risk of atherosclerosis decades later during their postmenopausal years," says Dr. Garovic. "This makes pre-eclampsia a pregnancy complication that extends well beyond the pregnancy itself."

Further study is needed on women with pre-eclampsia histories, according to Dr. Garovic, and that should continue to follow women late into life, where further complications may become apparent.

Explore further: Hypertension during pregnancy may affect women's long-term cardiovascular health

Related Stories

Hypertension during pregnancy may affect women's long-term cardiovascular health

August 18, 2017
Women who experience hypertension during pregnancy face an increased risk of heart disease and hypertension later in life, according to a new study.

New clues in puzzle over pre-eclampsia and cholesterol regulation

June 21, 2017
Scientists studying a mystery link between the dangerous pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia and an increased risk of heart disease in later life for both mother and child have uncovered important new clues.

One child mothers with pre-eclampsia at higher risk of heart problems

November 28, 2012
Women who develop pre-eclampsia during their first pregnancy (known as preterm pre-eclampsia) - and who don't go on to have any more children – are at greater risk of dying from heart disease in later life than women who ...

Pregnant women with hypertension and their siblings face increased risk of heart disease

August 27, 2015
High blood pressure during pregnancy is a risk factor for future hypertension and cardiovascular disease, but it's not clear if this increased risk is because these women are more likely to have a family history of heart ...

Serum biomarkers can predict women at risk of pre-eclampsia

July 22, 2015
Levels of biomarkers in the blood of pregnant women can be used to predict which women are at risk of pre-eclampsia, finds a study published today (22 July) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology ...

Hypertensive disorders during pregnancy increase risk for high blood pressure after delivery

January 28, 2016
Women who are diagnosed with hypertensive disorders while pregnant are more than twice as likely to develop high blood pressure in the first year after delivery as women who did not have any pregnancy-related hypertension, ...

Recommended for you

Sleeping position linked to the risk of stillbirth

November 20, 2017
Pregnant women who go to sleep on their back during the later stages of pregnancy face an increased likelihood of suffering a stillbirth, according to new research.

Study in mice finds dietary levels of genistein may adversely affect female fertility

November 14, 2017
Exposure to the phytoestrogen genistein prior to conception may adversely affect female fertility and pregnancy outcomes, depending on the dosage and duration of exposure, a new study in mice suggests.

IUDs may have a surprising benefit: Protection against cervical cancer

November 7, 2017
Considered a safe and highly effective contraception method, intrauterine devices (IUDs) may also be quietly offering protection against the third-most common cancer in women worldwide. A new study from the Keck School of ...

Increasing rates of chronic conditions putting more moms, babies at risk

November 7, 2017
Pregnant women today are more likely to have chronic conditions that could cause life-threatening complications than at any other time in the past decade - particularly poor women and those living in rural communities, a ...

First time mums with an epidural who lie down more likely to have a normal birth

October 18, 2017
Adopting a lying down position rather than being upright in the later stages of labour for first-time mothers who have had a low dose epidural leads to a higher chance of them delivering their baby without any medical intervention, ...

Mice delivered by C-section gain more weight than those delivered naturally

October 11, 2017
Mice born by Caesarian section gained on average 33 percent more weight in the 15 weeks after weaning than mice born vaginally, with females gaining 70 percent more weight.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.