It is known that pregnant women who develop pre-eclampsia, which are a condition of abnormally high blood pressure are known to have the risk of having a stroke during pregnancy. But new studies by the researchers from the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention now report that pre-eclampsia is also a risk factor for stroke in the future.
Dr David W. Brown and colleagues in Atlanta used data from the Stroke Prevention in Young Women Study to assess the association of pre-eclampsia with stroke in women between the ages of 15 and 44. The team were able to identify 261 cases of stroke among non-pregnant women in the study group and compared them with 416 randomly chosen controls that did not have a stroke.
They found that there was a history of pre-eclampsia in 15% of the women with stroke and in 10% of controls. The investigating researchers found after taking account of age, race, education and number of pregnancies, that women with a history of pre-eclampsia were 60% more likely to have a stroke than those without the pregnancy complication.
Though the reason for the increased risk is unknown, the researchers feel that the findings indicate that women with pre-eclampsia should be targeted for close risk factor monitoring and control beyond the postpartum period help to reduce their risk of having a stroke later on.