Functional and structural vascular biomarkers in women 1 year after a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy


  • K. Moe
  • M. Sugulle
  • R. Dechend
  • K. Angel
  • A.C. Staff


  • Pregnancy Hypertension


  • Pregnancy Hypertens 21: 23-29


  • OBJECTIVES: Women with a previous hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP: gestational hypertension and preeclampsia) have increased long-term cardiovascular disease risk. Recent meta-analyses show adverse levels of non-invasive functional and structural cardiovascular risk markers such as pulse wave velocity (PWV), heart-rate adjusted augmentation index (AIx75), carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), and reactive hyperemia index (RHI) after HDPs, and suggest using these for cardiovascular risk stratification. However, it is not known if a previous HDP predict levels of these markers beyond classical cardiovascular risk factors. Study design and main outcome measures. We assessed PWV, AIx75, CIMT, RHI, classical cardiovascular risk factors, and pregnancy characteristics in 221 women 1 year postpartum (controls: 95, previous HDP: 126). Uni- and multi- variate regression analysis were conducted to assess associations between previous HDP and PWV, AIx75, CIMT or RHI. We adjusted for classical cardiovascular risk factors and pregnancy characteristics. A p-level < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS: PWV was associated with previous HDP on univariate analysis. This effect was confounded by blood pressure and not significant after adjustment. We found no significant associations between AIx75, RHI, CIMT, and a previous HDP, neither before nor after adjustments. CONCLUSIONS: Associations between a previous HDP and PWV, AIx75, CIMT, or RHI 1 year postpartum can largely be explained by adverse levels of classical cardiovascular risk markers in women with a previous HDP. Women with previous HDP should receive primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, but PWV, AIx75, CIMT or RHI are unlikely to aid in cardiovascular risk stratification 1 year postpartum.