Prospective Evaluation of Cardiovascular Risk 10 Years After a Hypertensive Disorder of Pregnancy

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Jun 21;79(24):2401-2411. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.03.383.


Background: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) 20-30 years later; however, cardiovascular (CV) risk in the decade after HDP is less studied.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate differences in CV risk factors as well as subclinical CVD among a well-characterized group of racially diverse patients with and without a history of HDP 10 years earlier.

Methods: This is a prospective study of patients with and without a diagnosis of HDP ≥10 years earlier (2005-2007) who underwent in-person visits with echocardiography, arterial tonometry, and flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery.

Results: A total of 135 patients completed assessments (84 with and 51 without a history of HDP); 85% self-identified as Black. Patients with a history of HDP had a 2.4-fold increased risk of new hypertension compared with those without HDP (56.0% vs. 23.5%; adjusted relative risk: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.39-4.14) with no differences in measures of left ventricular structure, global longitudinal strain, diastolic function, arterial stiffness, or endothelial function. Patients who developed hypertension, regardless of HDP history, had greater left ventricular remodeling, including greater relative wall thickness; worse diastolic function, including lower septal and lateral e' and E/A ratio; more abnormal longitudinal strain; and higher effective arterial elastance than patients without hypertension.

Conclusions: We found a 2.4-fold increased risk of hypertension 10 years after HDP. Differences in noninvasive measures of CV risk were driven mostly by the hypertension diagnosis, regardless of HDP history, suggesting that the known long-term risk of CVD after HDP may primarily be a consequence of hypertension development.

Keywords: echocardiography; endothelial function; hypertension; preeclampsia; pregnancy; tonometry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Female
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors