A new study has found that women who experience complications associated with the development of hypertension during pregnancy have a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease as they get older.
This study is a comprehensive review assessing links between future cardiovascular events in women who have had gestational hypertension or preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a serious complication characterized by a sudden increase in blood pressure, which is dangerous for both the baby and the mother and affects the body’s organs. On the other hand, gestational hypertension is marked by a rise in blood pressure while a woman is pregnant. Both conditions are usually diagnosed after five months of pregnancy.
For their research, the scientists used health data gathered for more than 60,000 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study II. They then controlled for shared risk factors for cardiovascular disease and complications prepregnancy then analyzed the data. This led to the discovery that early screening and monitoring body mass index, glucose and cholesterol levels and blood pressure could offer more personalized targets to help prevent or delay future cardiovascular events in these women.
The researchers also discovered that type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or being obese or overweight after pregnancy accounted for most of the heightened risk between future cardiovascular events and pregnancy complications.
In their report, the researchers stated that women with gestational hypertension had a roughly 40% higher risk for cardiovascular disease in comparison to those with normal blood pressure during pregnancy. They noted that these women were also more likely to suffer a stroke three decades after their first pregnancy.
In addition to this, they found that women who suffered preeclampsia, which was linked to a more than 70% heightened cardiovascular risk, were more likely to suffer a cardiac event such as a heart attack 10 years after their first pregnancy.
The author of the study, Jennifer J. Stuart, stated that women who had a history of preeclampsia or gestational hypertension needed to be informed that they had a heightened risk for cardiovascular disease.
Victoria Pemberton of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute added that the research reinforced how crucial it was for women and their primary healthcare providers to address any risk factors for cardiovascular disease during as well as after pregnancy.
The researchers hope that their discovery could aid in the development of personalized heart disease prevention and monitoring strategies for women who suffered hypertension while they were pregnant.
The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health. Its findings were reported in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology.”
Several companies, including AREV Life Sciences Global Corp. (CSE: AREV) (OTC: AREVF), have formulations that can help in the management of hypertension so that it doesn’t worsen to a level that triggers other health complications.
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