FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Hypertension during pregnancy heightens women’s cardiovascular risk during middle age, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Michael C. Honigberg, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used data from 220,024 women in the UK Biobank (aged 40 to 69 years) who reported at least one live birth. Long-term incidence of cardiovascular conditions was evaluated for women with and without prior hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP).

The researchers found that 1.3 percent of women had prior HDP. Compared with women without HDP, women with HDP had elevated arterial stiffness indexes and a greater prevalence of chronic hypertension. There were 7.0 versus 5.3 age-adjusted incident cardiovascular conditions per 1,000 women-years for women with versus without prior HDP, respectively. HDP was associated with a shorter time-to-first incident cardiovascular diagnosis (hazard ratio [HR], 1.3). HDP was also associated with a greater incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD; HR, 1.8), heart failure (HR, 1.7), aortic stenosis (HR, 2.9), and mitral regurgitation (HR, 5.0). Chronic hypertension explained 64 percent of the association between HDP and CAD and 49 percent of the association between HDP and heart failure.

“You’d be shocked at how few physicians who aren’t obstetrician/gynecologists — including cardiologists — ask their female patients if they’ve had a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy,” Honigberg said in a statement. “This research really underscores the importance of clinicians asking about this history and of women sharing it.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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