Cardiovascular risk management after reproductive and pregnancy-related disorders: A Dutch multidisciplinary evidence-based guideline

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2016 Nov;23(17):1863-1879. doi: 10.1177/2047487316659573. Epub 2016 Jul 18.


Background: In the past decades evidence has accumulated that women with reproductive and pregnancy-related disorders are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the future. Up to now there is no standardised follow-up of these women becausee guidelines on cardiovascular risk management for this group are lacking. However, early identification of high-risk populations followed by prevention and treatment of CVD risk factors has the potential to reduce CVD incidence. Therefore, the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology initiated a multidisciplinary working group to develop a guideline for cardiovascular risk management after reproductive and pregnancy-related disorders.

Methods: The guideline addresses the cardiovascular risk consequences of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, preterm delivery, small-for-gestational-age infant, recurrent miscarriage, polycystic ovary syndrome and premature ovarian insufficiency. The best available evidence on these topics was captured by systematic review. Recommendations for clinical practice were formulated based on the evidence and consensus of expert opinion. The Dutch societies of gynaecologists, cardiologists, vascular internists, radiologists and general practitioners reviewed the guideline to ensure support for implementation in clinical practice.

Results: For all reproductive and pregnancy-related disorders a moderate increased relative risk was found for overall CVD, except for preeclampsia (relative risk 2.15, 95% confidence interval 1.76-2.61).

Conclusion: Based on the current available evidence, follow-up is only recommended for women with a history of preeclampsia. For all reproductive and pregnancy-related disorders optimisation of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors is recommended to reduce the risk of future CVD.

Keywords: Pregnancy; cardiovascular disease; polycystic ovary syndrome; preeclampsia; premature ovarian insufficiency; preterm delivery; prevention; recurrent miscarriage; risk assessment; small-for-gestational-age.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Female
  • Forecasting*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Management / methods*