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Preeclampsia Linked to Heart Disease Risk
Date:11/2/2007

he research also showed that women who had used oral contraceptives had half the risk of preeclampsia compared with those who never used oral contraceptives.

"The findings suggest that preeclampsia and cardiovascular diseases may share a common origin, and that the increased risk of cardiovascular disease subsequent to preeclampsia, at least partly, is due to an underlying biological trait of the woman," Magnussen said.

In the second study, British researchers reviewed 25 studies that included 3.5 million women worldwide. Almost 200,000 had developed preeclampsia while pregnant. The researchers then calculated the future risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension and thromboembolism.

"Women who have had preeclampsia are at a roughly twofold increased risk of cardiovascular disease in later life, compared with women who did not have preeclampsia," said lead researcher David Williams, a consultant obstetric physician at the Institute for Women's Health at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Obstetric Hospital, University College London.

"Specifically, these women have an almost fourfold increased risk of hypertension, and a doubling of the risk of heart disease, stroke, and venous thromboembolism," he added.

Some of the larger studies in the review suggested that this increased risk of heart disease after preeclampsia is independent of other recognized risk factors and, therefore, should become an important factor when assessing a woman's cardiovascular risk, Williams said.

The risk of a cardiovascular disease usually increases with age, the researchers noted. The normal risk for heart disease among women 50 to 59, is about 8 percent, but for women who have a history of preeclampsia, it is 17 percent. At ages 60 to 69, the risk is 14 percent and 30 percent, respectively, Williams' team explained

In their analysis, the researchers didn't find any increased risk of cancer, including breast cancer. This sug
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