THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Offspring born to individuals with preeclampsia have an increased risk for ischemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in JAMA Network Open.

Fen Yang, M.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the association between maternal preeclampsia and risks for IHD and stroke in offspring in a multinational population-based cohort study. Data were obtained from live singleton births from Denmark (1973 to 2016), Finland (1987 to 2014), and Sweden (1973 to 2014) that were followed up until Dec. 31, 2016, in Denmark and to Dec. 31, 2014, in Finland and Sweden. A total of 8,475,819 births were included (31.5, 19.3, and 49.2 percent from Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, respectively).

The researchers found that 2.2 percent of the offspring were exposed to maternal preeclampsia and 0.1 and 0.1 percent were diagnosed with IHD and stroke, respectively, during a median follow-up of 19.3 years. The risks for IHD and stroke were increased for offspring of individuals with preeclampsia (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.33 and 1.34, respectively). The associations were mainly independent of preterm or small-for-gestational-age birth. Higher stroke risk was seen for severe forms of preeclampsia versus less severe forms. The associations were partially explained by unmeasured familial factors based on sibling analyses.

“If these findings are confirmed by future studies, screening for risk factors among offspring born to individuals with preeclampsia and primary preventive measures may be implemented early in life to reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases,” the authors write.

One author received a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

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