Gestational hypertension may increase risk of heart attack and heart failure
UK: Gestational hypertension (GH) increases risk of overall cardiovascular disease (CVD), specifically heart failure and coronary heart disease (CHD), finds a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Gestational hypertension, also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension is the new onset of high blood pressure (higher than 140 mm Hg systolic or 90 mm Hg diastolic) without proteinuria during pregnancy. Inconsistent findings have been found among studies evaluating the risk of CVD for women who have had pregnancies complicated by gestational hypertension.
Clare Oliver‐Williams, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a comprehensive review of studies to quantify the association between gestational hypertension and cardiovascular events in women.
The researcher conducted a systematic search of online databases for studies that examined the association between gestational hypertension and any cardiovascular event. Study characteristics and the relative risk (RR) of cardiovascular events associated with gestational hypertension were extracted from the eligible studies. A total of 21 studies involving 3 60 1192 women (127 913 with gestational hypertension) were identified.
Key findings of the study include:
- Gestational hypertension in the first pregnancy was associated with a greater risk of overall cardiovascular disease (RR, 1.45) and coronary heart disease (RR, 1.46), but not stroke (RR, 1.26) or thromboembolic events (RR, 0.88).
- Women with 1 or more pregnancies affected by gestational hypertension were at greater risk of cardiovascular disease (RR, 1.81), coronary heart disease (RR, 1.83), and heart failure (RR, 1.77), but not stroke (RR, 1.50).
"Gestational hypertension is associated with a greater risk of overall CVD, specifically CHD and heart failure. Women who experience GH should be aware of this greater risk and may benefit from prenatal and postnatal counseling to increase their awareness of strategies that can reduce their CVD risk during and after birth," concluded the authors.
The study, "Future Cardiovascular Disease Risk for Women With Gestational Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis," is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.