Insulin resistance relates to microvascular reactivity 23 years after preeclampsia

Julia J. Spaan*, Alphons J. H. M. Houben, Angela Musella, Timo Ekhart, Marc E. A. Spaanderman, Louis L. H. Peeters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Preeclampsia, an endothelial disorder of pregnancy, is associated with an increased risk on cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular risk factors may mediate vascular dysfunction both during pregnancy but also later in life. This study aims to investigate microvascular reactivity, and its relationship with several cardiovascular risk factors, in women with a history of preeclampsia and controls. In this cross-sectional study we compared women with a history of preeclampsia (PE, n = 22) with women with uneventful pregnancies only (CON, n = 29) 23 years after their first delivery. Participants were matched for BMI, age and date of delivery. We assessed blood concentrations of fasting glucose, HbA1c, insulin, (total, HDL-, LDL-) cholesterol, triglycerides and CRP. Endothelial function was assessed by measurement of skin microcirculatory blood flow by Laser Doppler flowmetry at the dorsal and ventral site of the finger during post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PORH). PE had higher fasting insulin levels and HOMA-IR compared with CON. The PORH response was similar in both groups. The area under the curve of PORH correlated with insulin and HOMA-IR at both sites, with BMI, triglycerides at the dorsal site and with CRP at the ventral site of the finger in PE and not in CON. In conclusion, 23 years after pregnancy we did not observe a difference in the microvascular hyperemic response between women with a history of preeclampsia and controls. Meanwhile, the results of our study suggest that insulin resistance and other cardiovascular risk factors are related to microvascular reactivity in middle-aged women with a history of preeclampsia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-421
JournalMicrovascular Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Preeclampsia
  • PORH
  • Laser Doppler flowmetry
  • Insulin resistance
  • Cardiovascular risk factors


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