Risk and trajectory of premature ischaemic cardiovascular disease in women with a history of pre-eclampsia: a nationwide register-based study

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AIMS: Pre-eclampsia increases women's lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Little is known about the trajectory of CVD after pre-eclampsia, limiting the usefulness of this knowledge for informing screening, prevention, and interventions. We investigated when the risk of CVD increases after pre-eclampsia and how the risk changes over time since pregnancy.

METHODS AND RESULTS: This register-based study included 1 157 666 women with >1 pregnancy between 1978 and 2017. Cumulative incidences of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and ischaemic stroke were estimated, as well as hazard ratios (HRs) by attained age and time since delivery. Up to 2% [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.46-2.82%] of women with pre-eclampsia in their first pregnancy had an AMI or stroke within two decades of delivery, compared with up to 1.2% (95% CI: 1.08-1.30%) of pre-eclampsia-free women; differences in cumulative incidences were evident 7 years after delivery. Ten years after delivery, women with pre-eclampsia had four- and three-fold higher rates of AMI (HR = 4.16, 95% CI: 3.16-5.49) and stroke (HR = 2.59, 95% CI 2.04-3.28) than women without pre-eclampsia; rates remained doubled >20 years later. Women with pre-eclampsia aged 30-39 years had five-fold and three-fold higher rates of AMI (HR = 4.88, 95% CI 3.55-6.71) and stroke (HR = 2.56, 95% CI 1.95-3.36) than women of similar age without pre-eclampsia.

CONCLUSIONS: Women with a history of pre-eclampsia have high rates of AMI and stroke at early ages and within a decade after delivery. The findings suggest that pre-eclampsia history could be useful in identifying women at increased risk of CVD and that targeted interventions should be initiated soon after delivery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)506-516
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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