Hypertension After Preeclampsia Is Preceded by Changes in Cardiac Structure and Function

Chahinda Ghossein-Doha*, Louis Peeters, Sanne van Heijster, Sander van Kuijk, Julia Spaan, Tammo Delhaas, Marc Spaanderman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Web of Science)


Preeclampsia is associated with a 4-fold higher risk for developing remote chronic hypertension. Preeclampsia is accompanied by left ventricular hypertrophy and decreased diastolic function, which may or may not resolve postpartum. We tested the hypothesis that increased measures of cardiac geometry and decreased cardiac function persisting for 6 months postpartum in normotensive women with a history of preeclampsia precede the development of later chronic hypertension. Formerly preeclamptic women (n=652) underwent echocardiography at 9 months (range, 6-19) postpartum. We excluded women with preexisting hypertension (n=42), hypertension at the postpartum screening (n=133), and those that did not return any checklist (n=128). Eventually, 349 women were included. Remote health was evaluated by a biennially checklist. We used Cox regression for analysis. Twenty-seven (8%) normotensive women had developed chronic hypertension during a medium follow-up period of 6 years. At screening they differed from their counterparts who remained normotensive by hazard ratio for left ventricular mass index (1.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.18), diastolic blood pressure (1.13; 95% CI, 1.06-1.20), systolic blood pressure (1.07; 95% CI, 1.02-1.11), mean arterial pressure (1.11; 95% CI, 1.05-1.18), heart rate (1.05; 95% CI, 1.01-1.10), and E/A ratio (0.22; 95% CI, 0.06-0.85). Backward stepwise analysis showed independent hazard ratio for left ventricular mass index and diastolic blood pressure 1.08 (95% CI, 1.01-1.16) and 1.13 (95% CI, 1.06-1.21), respectively. In conclusion, the development of later chronic hypertension in initially normotensive formerly preeclamptic women is preceded by increased left ventricular mass index and diastolic blood pressure at postpartum screening.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-390
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • cardiovascular diseases
  • echocardiography
  • hypertension
  • preeclampsia
  • prehypertension
  • ventricular remodeling

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