Metabolic Syndrome After Preeclamptic Pregnancy: A Longitudinal Cohort Study

Wieteke M. Heidema*, Ralph R. Scholten, Joris van Drongelen, Marc E. A. Spaanderman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: History of preeclampsia increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in women. Most formerly, preeclamptic women have generally one or even more traditional cardiovascular and/or cardiometabolic risk factors consistent with metabolic syndrome in the first year after delivery. The objective of this study was to analyze the prevalence and persistence of risk factors contributing to metabolic syndrome for the course of years after preeclamptic pregnancy. Methods: In a longitudinally cohort study, 107 formerly preeclamptic women were assessed for traditional risk factors (insulin resistance, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and microalbuminuria) of metabolic syndrome (World Health Organization criteria) at two time points: at 3-30 months postpartum (visit 1) and 24-65 months later (visit 2). Results: At visit 1, 10 of 107 (9%) formerly preeclamptic women had metabolic syndrome, and at visit 2, 14 of 107 (13%) (p=0.21) had metabolic syndrome. Most formerly, preeclamptic women (90%) did not change their metabolic syndrome status over the years, as 7 of 107 (7%) women had persistent metabolic syndrome and 90 of 107 (84%) women did not meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome on either visit. In 3 of 107 (3%) formerly preeclamptic women, metabolic syndrome disappeared over time, whereas 7 of 107 (7%) preeclamptic women developed it. Conclusion: The presence or absence of metabolic syndrome remains unchanged in 90% of formerly preeclamptic women for the first years after preeclampsia. Only in 10% of women, metabolic syndrome developed or recovered, indicating that early screening within the first year postpartum in these women effectively detects those with metabolic syndrome who are known to be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease later in life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-362
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • metabolic syndrome
  • preeclampsia
  • risk factors
  • LIFE

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