For a study, researchers sought to compare the frequency of coronary atherosclerosis in younger women with past preeclampsia to women in the general population.

Women between the ages of 40 and 55 with a history of preeclampsia were matched on age and parity with women from the general population. Participants filled out a lengthy questionnaire, underwent a clinical examination, and had a coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA). The primary research outcome was the presence of any coronary atherosclerosis on coronary CTA or a calcium score greater than zero in the case of a nondiagnostic coronary CTA.

A total of 1,417 women were enrolled, with a mean age of 47 years (708 women with previous preeclampsia and 709 control subjects from the general population). Women with a history of preeclampsia were more likely to have hypertension (284 [40.1%] vs 162 [22.8%]; P=0.001), dyslipidemia (338 [47.7%] vs 296 [41.7%]; P=0.023), diabetes mellitus (24 [3.4%] vs 8 [1.1%]; P=0.004), and a high BMI (27.3±5.7 kg/m2 vs 25.0±4.2 kg/m2; P<0.001). All of the women had cardiac computed tomography. After adjusting for age, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, smoking, body mass index, menopause, and parity, the prevalence of any coronary atherosclerosis was higher in the preeclampsia group (193 [27.4%] vs. 141 [20.0%]; P=0.001), with an OR: 1.41 (95% CI: 1.08-1.85; P=0.012).

When compared to age- and parity-matched women in the general population, younger women with a history of preeclampsia, had a slightly greater frequency of coronary atherosclerosis. However, preeclampsia remained an independent risk factor after controlling for established cardiovascular risk factors.