There is widespread acceptance of the increased prevalence of cardiovascular diseases occurring within 1 to 2 decades in women following a preeclamptic pregnancy. More recent evidence suggests that the deranged biochemical and echocardiographic findings in women do not resolve in the majority of preeclamptic women following giving birth. Many women continue to be hypertensive in the immediate postnatal period with some exhibiting occult signs of cardiac dysfunction. There is now promising evidence that with close monitoring and effective control of blood pressure control in the immediate postnatal period, women may have persistently lower blood pressures many years after stopping their medication. This review highlights the evidence that delivering effective medical care in the fourth trimester of pregnancy can improve the long-term cardiovascular health after a preeclamptic birth.
Keywords: blood pressure; cardiovascular diseases; cardiovascular risk; hypertension; pre-eclampsia; pregnancy.