Hypertension During Pregnancy Increases Risk for Future CVD

hypertension, pregnancy
hypertension, pregnancy
Women who experience gestational hypertension are at a greater risk for future hypertension and ischemic heart disease compared with women who have preeclampsia.

Women with hypertensive disorders during pregnancy (HDP) have a significantly greater risk for future cardiovascular disease (CVD) when compared with normotensive expecting mothers, according to findings from a retrospective study published in Hypertension.

Researchers retrospectively reviewed the records of 4387 women who were diagnosed with hypertension during the antenatal, intrapartum, or postnatal pregnancy periods between 1980 and 1989 at a Sydney, Australia, tertiary hospital. A total of 1158 records were selected at random to review pregnancy outcomes associated with hypertensive disorder.

Compared with pregnant women with preeclampsia, those diagnosed with gestational hypertension had a greater risk for future ischemic heart disease and hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 2.67; 95% CI, 1.49-4.81 vs OR, 3.19; 95% CI, 2.11-4.83). The researchers observed a significant difference regarding future admissions for hypertension among women with HDP and severe blood pressure vs women with HDP without severe blood pressure (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.01-1.93).

In addition, the investigators found an overall difference in future admissions between women with HDP vs normotensive pregnant women (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.01-1.14). Women with HDP also had a higher risk for future CVD-related hospital admissions vs normotensive women (OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.65-2.58).

One of the main limitations of this research is the lack of data on pregnant women with chronic hypertension because many women within the typical pregnancy age range were not regularly screened for hypertension during this study’s time period.

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According to the investigators, pregnant women with HDP “should be monitored closely to identify early recognition of any CVD risk factors” as a means of potentially reducing future risk for heart disease.


Tooher J, Thornton C, Makris A, Ogle R, Korda A, Hennessy A. All hypertensive disorders of pregnancy increase the risk of future cardiovascular disease. Hypertension. 2017;70(4):798-803.