Preeclampsia: at risk for remote cardiovascular disease

Am J Med Sci. 2007 Oct;334(4):291-5. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e3180a6f094.


Epidemiological data indicate that women with preeclampsia are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life. Population-based studies relate preeclampsia to an increased risk of later chronic hypertension (RR, 2.00 to 8.00) and cardiovascular morbidity/mortality (RR, 1.3 to 3.07), compared with normotensive pregnancy. Women who develop preeclampsia before 36 weeks of gestation or have multiple hypertensive pregnancies are at highest risk (RR, 3.4 to 8.12). The underlying mechanism for the remote effects of preeclampsia is complex and probably multifactorial. Many risk factors are shared by CVD and preeclampsia, including endothelial dysfunction, obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia. Therefore, it has been proposed that the metabolic syndrome may be a possible underlying mechanism common to CVD and preeclampsia. Follow-up and counseling of women with a history of preeclampsia may offer a window of opportunity for prevention of future disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Pre-Eclampsia* / diagnosis
  • Pre-Eclampsia* / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / physiopathology