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Preeclampsia Linked to Increased Stroke Risk in Later Life

TUESDAY, April 27, 2021 -- Preeclampsia seems to be associated with an increased risk for stroke in later life, according to a study published online April 26 in JAMA Network Open.

Adam de Havenon, M.D., from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of data from the Framingham Heart Study to examine the relative risk for incident stroke in later life among women with and without a history of preeclampsia. Data were included for 1,435 women with 41,422 person-years of follow-up.

Of the participants, 169 had a history of preeclampsia and 321 experienced strokes during follow-up. The researchers found that women with preeclampsia were more likely to be younger, to be receiving cholesterol-lowering medications, to have lower cholesterol and higher diastolic blood pressure, and to currently smoke at baseline. In the marginal structural model, the correlation between preeclampsia and stroke was only seen when adjustment was made for all vascular risk factors over the life course, which indicated an increased risk for stroke in later life for women with versus those without preeclampsia (relative risk, 3.79).

"The stroke events occurred at a mean of more than three decades after the exposure, suggesting that aggressive medical management of vascular risk factors during midlife has the potential to reduce the risk of stroke," the authors write. "Research is needed to explore the practical implications of this association, particularly regarding the implementation of additional monitoring of vascular health."

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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