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Preeclampsia Linked to Cardiovascular Problems After Pregnancy
Date:6/24/2008

Insulin resistance increases and arteries malfunction years later, researchers say

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Preeclampsia may change the way arteries respond to insulin, thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems years after the dangerous pregnancy complication occurs, Scandinavian researchers report.

In this small study, researchers found an association between insulin sensitivity in women and a history of preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure during pregnancy.

"Although insulin sensitivity in non-obese women with previous preeclampsia is similar to that in control women, there was a significant correlation between waist-to-hip ratio and serum triglycerides and insulin sensitivity only in women with history of preeclampsia," said lead researcher Dr. Risto Kaaja, a researcher at Helsinki University Hospital in Finland.

"Secondly, insulin sensitivity correlated to vasodilatation again only in the preeclamptic group," Kaaja said. "Early-onset preeclampsia correlated to impaired insulin sensitivity later in life."

The study was published in the June 23 early online edition of Hypertension.

In the study, Kaaja's team looked at 28 non-obese women who had severe preeclampsia during pregnancy and compared them with 20 women who had normal pregnancies. After five to six years, researchers found an association between insulin sensitivity and dysfunction in the arteries among women with a history of preeclampsia, but not among women who had had normal pregnancies.

"We have been the first to suggest that preeclampsia could be the first manifestation of the metabolic syndrome," Kaaja said. "Although preeclampsia is mainly cured after delivery, features of the metabolic syndrome have been shown to prevail for months to several years after a preeclamptic pregnancy," he said.

"We showed that this impairment is related to insulin sensitivity and also with w
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