TUESDAY, July 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) in their first pregnancy have increased rates of chronic hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and hypercholesterolemia, according to a study published online July 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Jennifer J. Stuart, Sc.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlations between HDP and maternal cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in an observational cohort study. A total of 58,671 parous Nurses’ Health Study II participants without CVD or risk factors of interest at baseline were included. Women were followed for self-reported physician diagnosis of chronic hypertension and hypercholesterolemia and confirmed type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The researchers found that women with gestational hypertension (2.9 percent) or preeclampsia (6.3 percent) in their first pregnancy had increased rates of chronic hypertension (hazard ratios, 2.8 and 2.2. respectively), type 2 diabetes mellitus (hazard ratios, 1.7 and 1.8, respectively), and hypercholesterolemia (hazard ratios, 1.4 and 1.3, respectively), compared to women who were normotensive. These women were more likely to develop CVD risk factors throughout follow-up; the relative risk for chronic hypertension was strongest within five years after their first birth. For all end points, recurrence of HDP further elevated risks.

“These women may benefit from lifestyle intervention and early screening to reduce lifetime risk for CVD,” the authors write.

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