FRIDAY, Jan. 30, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Women who experience preeclampsia during pregnancy are at increased risk for future health problems such as hypertension, diabetes and blood clots, American and Danish researchers report.
Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy linked to life-threatening cardiovascular disease.
The researchers analyzed data on more than 11 million women who gave birth in Denmark from 1978 to 2007. Among women with preeclampsia, the risks of subsequent hypertension were compounded with each pregnancy.
The findings were presented Thursday at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting in San Diego.
"The only reliable treatment for preeclampsia is delivery of the baby. 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," senior author Dr. Michael J. Paidas, director of the Program for Thrombosis and Hemostasis in Women's Health in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science at Yale, said in a university news release.
This research contributes to the growing data on the link between hypertensive pregnancy disorders and subsequent ischemic heart disease and death among women, Paidas said. He and his colleagues are conducting ongoing research into the genetic links between pregnancy complications, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more about preeclampsia and eclampsia.