Future Cardiovascular Risk
Interpreting the Importance of Increased Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
- fetal programming
- high blood pressure
- pregnancy and postpartum
Cardiovascular (CV) disease is the leading cause of death in women over the age of 50. Risk factors related to the increase in CV disease after transition into menopause include an increase in abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and hypertension.1 Recent studies indicate that a history of preeclampsia increases future CV risk.2–4 Based on these findings, the National Institutes of Health sponsored a workshop in 2010 entitled, “Bridging Preeclampsia and Future Cardiovascular Disease.”5 The aims of the workshop were to “identify knowledge gaps and research opportunities” to facilitate the prevention of future CV risk in women who develop preeclampsia during pregnancy.5 Recommendations provided to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute from the workshop initiated with an aim to use “already established cohort studies.” It was suggested that studies or trials with well-defined diagnoses of preeclampsia could be used to prospectively follow patients long-term to assess CV outcome and to determine the progression of chronic disease.
Article see p 681
In this issue of Circulation, Mannisto and colleagues6 present a large population-based prospective study with the use of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 that elegantly addresses the first recommended initiative from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Workshop on preeclampsia and future CV risk. The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 initiated with routine prenatal visits …