Cardiovascular disease risk is only elevated in hypertensive, formerly preeclamptic women

N.M. Breetveld*, C. Ghossein-Doha, S.M.J. van Kuijk, A.P. van Dijk, M.J. van der Vlugt, W.M. Heidema, R.R. Scholten, M.E.A. Spaanderman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective To analyse the predicted 10- and 30-year risk scores for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients who experienced preeclampsia (PE) 5-10 years previously compared with healthy parous controls.

Design Observational study.

Setting Tertiary referral hospital in the Netherlands.

Population One hundred and fifteen patients with a history of PE and 50 controls. PE patients were categorised into two groups, hypertensive (n = 21) and normotensive (n = 94), based on use of antihypertensive medication, and next categorised into subgroups based on the onset of PE: early-onset PE (n = 39) and late-onset PE (n = 76).

Methods All participants underwent cardiovascular risk screening 5-10 years after index pregnancy. We measured body mass, height and blood pressure. Blood was analysed for fasting glucose, insulin and lipid levels. All participants completed a validated questionnaire. The 10- and 30-year Framingham risk scores were calculated and compared.

Main outcome measures Estimated Framingham 10- and 30-year risk scores for CVD.

Results The overall 10- and 30-year CVD median risks weighing subjects' lipids were comparable between formerly PE women and controls; 1.6 versus 1.5% (P = 0.22) and 9.0 versus 9.0% (P = 0.49), respectively. However, hypertensive formerly PE women have twice the CVD risk as normotensive formerly PE women: 10- and 30-year CVD median risks were 3.1 versus 1.5% (P <0.01) and 19.0% versus 8.0% (P <0.01), respectively. Risk estimates based on BMI rather than lipid profile show comparable results. Early-onset PE clustered more often in the hypertensive formerly PE group and showed significantly higher 10-and 30-year CVD risk estimates based on lipids compared with the late-onset PE group: 1.7 versus 1.3% (P <0.05) and 10.0 versus 7.0% (P <0.05), respectively.

Conclusions Women who are hypertensive after preeclampsia, have a twofold risk of developing CVD in the next 10-30 years. Formerly PE women who are normotensive in the first 10 years after their preeclamptic pregnancy have a comparable future cardiovascular risk to healthy controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1100
Number of pages9
JournalBjog-an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Framingham risk score
  • hypertension
  • metabolic syndrome
  • preeclampsia

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