Background: Microalbuminuria is an important risk factor for underlying vascular disease. Its detection after pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia may have predictive value for the later development of chronic hypertension or renal disease.
Method: The study group consisted of 48 women in whom pregnancy had been complicated by pre-eclampsia. Urinary albumin excretion rate, blood pressure, and renal function parameters were assessed 2-4 months and 3-5 years after the pregnancy. Results were compared with those in 44 women after normal pregnancy.
Results: Mean urinary albumin excretion rate was significantly higher in the study group than in the controls both at 2-4 months after delivery (27.0 +/- 33 vs 6.1 +/- 3.3 mg/24 h) and at 3-5 years after delivery (23.5 +/- 26.8 vs 6.7 +/- 2.8 mg/24 h) (P = 0.001). The rate of occurrence of microalbuminuria was not significantly different between the early (58%) and late (42%) time-points within the study group or between the nulliparous and the multiparous women.
Conclusions: A history of pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia is associated with a high occurrence of microalbuminuria. Whether the presence of microalbuminuria reflects a possible underlying vascular disease in affected patients needs to be further investigated in large-scale studies.