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Recurrent pre-eclampsia and subsequent cardiovascular risk


Objective To determine the association between recurrent pre-eclampsia and long-term cardiovascular hospitalisation.

Methods This study identified cardiovascular hospitalisations up to 25 years after pregnancy for all women who delivered between 1989 and 2013 in Québec, Canada. Exposures included recurrent and non-recurrent pre-eclampsia in women with two deliveries or more (N=606 820), and pre-eclampsia in women with only one delivery (N=501 761). Incidence, timing and risk of cardiovascular complications were calculated using accelerated failure time models adjusted for age, pre-existing disease, socioeconomic deprivation and period. Outcomes included a range of cardiovascular hospitalisations and procedures.

Results Women with recurrent pre-eclampsia had higher incidence of cardiovascular hospitalisation (281.4 per 1000) than women with non-recurrent (167.7 per 1000) or no pre-eclampsia (72.6 per 1000). Mean time to cardiovascular hospitalisation was 10.5 years for recurrent, 11.6 years for non-recurrent and 12.7 years for no pre-eclampsia, a difference of 17.3% for recurrent and 8.7% for non-recurrent relative to no pre-eclampsia. Compared with no pre-eclampsia, recurrent pre-eclampsia was associated with 2 times the risk of heart disease (95% CI 1.69 to 2.29) and 3 times the risk of cerebrovascular disease (95% CI 2.25 to 4.05). Pre-eclampsia in women with one delivery was associated with 3 times greater risk of cardiovascular hospitalisation compared with no pre-eclampsia in women with two deliveries or more (95% CI 2.96 to 3.25).

Conclusions Recurrent pre-eclampsia is associated with higher risk of future cardiovascular hospitalisation compared with no pre-eclampsia, and significantly shorter time to first cardiovascular event. Cardiovascular screening should be performed earlier for women with recurrent pre-eclampsia.

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