High blood pressure during pregnancy increases the risk of heart disease

High blood pressure during pregnancy increases the risk of heart disease

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How high blood pressure can become a serious danger in pregnancy

If women suffer from high blood pressure during their first pregnancy, this is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks or premature cardiovascular death.

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's recent study found that high blood pressure during first pregnancy appears to increase the risk of heart attacks or other cardiovascular causes of death. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Journal of Women’s Health".

What is pre-eclampsia?

About two to eight percent of pregnant women worldwide are diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a complication that is characterized by high blood pressure and usually begins after about 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure was normal. Preeclampsia is thought to be related to underdeveloped placenta blood vessels. Preeclampsia can be a cause of premature birth.

Data from 6,370 women were evaluated

The researchers analyzed cardiovascular diseases in 6,360 women aged 18 to 54 who were pregnant for the first time and who were diagnosed with preeclampsia from 1999 to 2013. The results were then compared to the data from pregnant women without preeclampsia.

Effects of preeclampsia during first pregnancy

The research group found that women with preeclampsia succumbed to a heart attack or cardiovascular cause four times more often during the 15-year study period and died more than twice more from other causes.

Preeclampsia increased the risk of various diseases

Women diagnosed with preeclampsia were also prone to chronic high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, kidney disease, and other diseases. This shows how important it is that women should definitely be checked for preeclampsia during their pregnancy.

How can we solve this problem?

The study therefore suggests that all women should be examined for preeclampsia throughout their pregnancy. If preeclampsia is found in pregnant women, those affected should be treated within five years of pregnancy. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Mary Downes Gastrich, Stavros Zinonos, Gloria Bachmann, Nora M. Cosgrove, Javier Cabrera et al .: Preeclamptic Women Are at Significantly Higher Risk of Future Cardiovascular Outcomes Over a 15-Year Period, in Journal of Women's Health (Published Vol. 29, Issue 1, January 13, 2020), Journal of Women's Health

Video: Dangers of High Blood Pressure (June 2022).


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