Preeclampsia May Lead to Heart Disease

Published Online: Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Scientists at Yale University researching preeclampsia have found that, even when blood pressure returns to normal after delivery, the condition may still increase a woman's risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Researchers studied data on 37,061 women who had given birth and died in Jerusalem between 1964 and 1976. Among that data set were 1070 women who had preeclampsia.

The investigators found that the women with preeclampsia were twice as likely to die, compared with women who had no history of the disorder. Even after 20 years of follow-up, the women who had preeclampsia followed by normal birth were still more than twice as likely to die than were those women with no preeclampsia history. The condition affects 5% of all pregnant women.

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