Long-term maternal atherosclerotic morbidity in women with pre-eclampsia Academic Article uri icon


  • To investigate whether severe and recurrent pre-eclampsia increase the risk for long-term maternal atherosclerotic disease. A population-based study compared the incidence of long-term atherosclerotic morbidity in a cohort of women who delivered in the years 1988-2012. The exposure variable was pre-eclampsia. Mean follow-up duration was 11.2 years. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to estimate cumulative incidence of simple, complex (ie, angina pectoris and congestive heart failure, respectively) cardiovascular-related and renal-related hospitalisations. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the adjusted HRs for cardiovascular and renal morbidity. During the study, 96 370 patients met the inclusion criteria; 7824 (8.1%) in patients who were diagnosed at least once with pre-eclampsia. Patients with pre-eclampsia had higher rates of cardiovascular morbidity including cardiac non-invasive (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1 to 1.7; p=0.005) and invasive diagnostic procedures (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.2 to 2.3; p=0.001), simple (OR 1.5; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.8; p=0.001), as well as complex cardiovascular events (OR 2.4; 95% CI 2.2 to 2.8; p=0.001) and renal (OR 3.7; 95% CI 2.2 to 6.0; p=0.001) hospitalisations. A significant linear association was noted between the severity of pre-eclampsia (no pre-eclampsia, mild pre-eclampsia, severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia) and cardiovascular (2.7% vs 4.5% vs 5.2% vs 5.7%, respectively; p=0.001), as well as renal disease (0.1% vs 0.2% vs 0.5% vs 1.1%, respectively; p=0.001). Likewise, a linear association was found between the number of previous pregnancies with pre-eclampsia (no pre-eclampsia, one event and ≥2 events of pre-eclampsia) and risk for future simple cardiovascular disease (1.2% vs 1.6% vs 2.2%, respectively; p=0.001), complex cardiovascular disease (1.3% vs 2.7% vs 4.6%, respectively; p=0.001) and total cardiovascular hospitalisations (2.7% vs 4.4% vs 6.0%, respectively; p=0.001). Using a Kaplan-Meier survival curve, patients with pre-eclampsia had significantly higher cumulative incidence of atherosclerotic-related hospitalisations. In a Cox proportional hazards model, adjusted for confounders such as maternal age, parity, diabetes mellitus and obesity, pre-eclampsia remained independently associated with atherosclerotic hospitalisations. Previous pregnancy with pre-eclampsia is an independent risk factor for long-term maternal atherosclerotic morbidity. The risk is more substantial for patients with severe and recurrent episodes of pre-eclampsia. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015

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