Women who have experienced hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) face a doubled risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those who have had normotensive pregnancies – and their risk factor levels remain higher through age 50 and beyond. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and cardiovascular disease share a host of common modifiable risk factors including adiposity, hypertension, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia. Although it is not known how much of the excess pregnancy-related CVD risk is associated with these elevated risk factors, they may be an important target for prevention in women with a history of HDP.
While previous studies have quantified the increased risk women for with HDP, prior research aims to estimate the proportion of conventional cardiovascular risk factors associated with elevated CVD risk. A 2019 prospective cohort study of pregnant women found that 77% of excess cardiovascular risk for women with a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy is attributed to elevated blood pressure and BMI levels.