How soon does the risk of hypertension increase after delivery?
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The risk of hypertension associated with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy is high immediately after an affected pregnancy and persists for more than 20 y.
Why this matters
Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (pre-eclampsia; eclampsia; haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets (HELLP) syndrome; and gestational hypertension) affect up to 10% of pregnancies.
Compared with 4% of women with normotensive first pregnancies in their 20s, 14% of women with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy in a first pregnancy developed hypertension in the first-decade post partum.
The corresponding percentages for women with a first pregnancy in their 40s were 11% and 32%, respectively.
The rates of post-pregnancy hypertension were 12-fold to 25-fold higher in women with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy than in women with a normotensive pregnancy.
The rates were 3 to 10-fold higher in the decade after delivery and remained twice as high even 20 or more years later.
482972 women with no hypertension with a first live birth or stillbirth between 1995 and 2012 were included for cumulative incidence analyses.
1025118 women with at least one live birth or stillbirth between 1978 and 2012 were included for Cox regression analyses.
Funding: Danish Council for Independent Research, Danish Heart Association.
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