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Haßdenteufel, Kathrin; Müller, Mitho ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8431-540X; Gutsfeld, Raphael; Goetz, Maren; Bauer, Armin; Wallwiener, Markus; Brucker, Sara Y.; Joos, Stefanie; Colombo, Miriam Giovanna; Hawighorst-Knapstein, Sabine; Chaudhuri, Ariane; Kirtschig, Gudula; Saalmann, Frauke and Wallwiener, Stephanie (April 2022): Long-term effects of preeclampsia on maternal cardiovascular health and postpartum utilization of primary care: an observational claims data study. In: Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics [PDF, 1MB]

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Purpose: Preeclampsia occurs in up to 15% of pregnancies and constitutes a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This observational cohort study aimed to examine the association between preeclamptic pregnancies and cardiovascular outcomes as well as primary and specialized care utilization after delivery.

Methods: Using statutory claims data we identified women with singleton live births between 2010 and 2017. Main outcomes included the occurrence of either hypertension or cardiovascular disease after one or more preeclamptic pregnancies, number of contacts to a general practitioner or cardiologist after delivery and prescribed antihypertensive medication. Data were analyzed using Cox proportional hazard regression models adjusted for maternal age, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obesity.

Results: The study cohort consisted of 181,574 women with 240,698 births. Women who experienced preeclampsia once had an increased risk for cardiovascular (hazard ratio, HR = 1.29) or hypertensive (HR = 4.13) events. In women affected by recurrent preeclampsia, risks were even higher to develop cardiovascular disease (HR = 1.53) or hypertension (HR = 6.01). In the following years after delivery, general practitioners were seen frequently, whereas cardiologists were consulted rarely (0.3 and 2.4%).

Conclusion: Women affected by preeclampsia experience an increased risk of developing chronic hypertension and cardiovascular disease, especially those with recurrent preeclampsia. Future medical guidelines should take this potential risk into account.

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