Women who suffer from high blood pressure during pregnancy are at a higher risk of chronic hypertension and type 2 diabetes for the rest of their lives, according to a new study.
Yale School of Medicine researchers along with the University of Copenhagen, Denmark have found that women who have had two pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia are at an even higher risk of hypertension after pregnancy.
For the study, the researchers analysed the data of over 11 million women who gave birth in Denmark from 1978 to 2007.
Of those women with preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy linked to life-threatening cardiovascular disease, the risks of subsequent hypertension risks were compounded with each affected pregnancy.
"The only reliable treatment for preeclampsia is delivery of the baby," said senior author Michael J. Paidas, M.D., associate professor and director of the Program for Thrombosis and Hemostasis in Women's Health in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale.
"But while delivery may ''cure'' preeclampsia in the moment, these mothers are at high risk of chronic hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus and blood clots for the rest of their lives," he added.
Paidas said the research adds to growing data on the link between hypertensive pregnancy disorders and subsequent death and ischemic heart disease.
The researchers are conducting ongoing studies to explore the genetic links between pregnancy complications, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The findings were presented in an abstract at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine Scientific meetings in San Diego, Calif.