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Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy Tied to Heart Damage 10 Years Later

FRIDAY, March 5, 2021 -- Women with a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) and current hypertension show left ventricular remodeling a decade after delivery, according to a study published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Malamo E. Countouris, M.D., from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Heart and Vascular Institute, and colleagues assessed echocardiographic differences eight to 10 years after delivery among 102 women with normotensive pregnancies and 30 with HDP (21 with preeclampsia and nine with gestational hypertension).

The researchers found that compared with women with normotensive pregnancies, those with HDP history were more likely to have current hypertension (63 versus 26 percent). Women with HDP history also had higher interventricular septal thickness and relative wall thickness after adjusting for age, race, maternal vascular malperfusion lesions, body mass index, current hypertension, and hemoglobin A1c. Women with both HDP history and current hypertension had a higher proportion of left ventricular remodeling (79 percent) compared with all other groups (only HDP: 36.4 percent; only current hypertension: 46.2 percent; neither HDP nor hypertension: 38.2 percent).

"Women with both HDP history and current hypertension have pronounced differences in left ventricular structure and function a decade after pregnancy, warranting continued surveillance and targeted therapies for cardiovascular disease prevention," the authors write.

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