Microvascular dysfunction: a link between pre-eclampsia and maternal coronary heart disease

BJOG. 2003 Nov;110(11):1029-31.


Epidemiological studies have recently demonstrated a relationship between pre-eclampsia and coronary heart disease. Insulin resistance has been implicated as a common factor. We have demonstrated, for the first time, using laser Doppler imaging in vivo, impaired microvascular function in women 15-25 years following a pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia. Thus, microvascular dysfunction, which is associated with insulin resistance, may be a predisposing vascular mechanism for both coronary heart disease and pre-eclampsia. Pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia may identify women at risk of vascular disease in later life and may provide the opportunity for lifestyle and risk factor modification to alter maternal vascular disease risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Microcirculation / physiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Vasodilation / physiology