Associations of Pregnancy Complications with Calculated CVD Risk and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Middle Age: The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
Background—The nature and contribution of different pregnancy related complications to future cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its risk factors, as well as mechanisms underlying these associations remain unclear.
Methods and Results—We studied associations of pregnancy diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), preterm delivery and size for gestational age with calculated 10 year CVD risk (based on the Framingham score) and a wide range of cardiovascular risk factors measured 18 years after pregnancy (mean age at outcome assessment: 48 years) in a prospective cohort of 3,416 women. Gestational diabetes (GDM) was positively associated with fasting glucose and insulin, even after adjusting for potential confounders whilst HDP were associated with BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, lipids and insulin. Large for gestational age (LGA) was associated with greater waist circumference and glucose concentrations, whilst small for gestational age (SGA) and preterm delivery were associated with higher blood pressure. The association with the calculated 10 year CVD risk based on the Framingham prediction score was OR=1.31 (95%CI: 1.11, 1.53) for preeclampsia and 1.26 (0.95, 1.68) for GDM compared to women without preeclampsia and GDM respectively.
Conclusions—HDP and pregnancy diabetes are independently associated with an increased calculated 10 year CVD risk. Preeclampsia may be the better predictor of future CVD since it was associated with a wider range of cardiovascular risk factors. Our results suggest that pregnancy may be an important opportunity for early identification of women at increased risk of CVD later in life.
- Received May 19, 2011.
- Accepted January 18, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited