A two-day Workshop was convened on September 16th and 17th, 2010 in Rockville, MD to provide recommendations to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) regarding pregnancy complications, specifically preeclampsia, and future maternal cardiovascular risk. The purpose of the Workshop was to bring together experts in the field to examine the associations between preeclampsia and future cardiovascular disease across different domains, including basic science and clinical practice, with a goal of identifying knowledge gaps and research opportunities that could facilitate the prevention of cardiovascular disease outcomes long-term. The Workshop consisted of experts in preventive cardiology, maternal-fetal medicine, nephrology, epidemiology, and biostatistics.
Preeclampsia affects between approximately six and eight percent of pregnancies in the United States and is associated with significant maternal and fetal morbidity. The relationship of preeclampsia to future cardiovascular disease has been well-established. Women who develop preeclampsia during pregnancy are four times more likely to develop hypertension later in life, and are twice as likely to develop heart disease, stroke, and blood clots in the future. The development of preeclampsia is one of the earliest clinically-identifiable markers of a woman’s heightened risk of cardiovascular disease. However, it is unknown whether the increased risk of future cardiovascular disease can be attributed to factors that develop during pregnancy or to pre-pregnancy factors that are also associated with the risk of developing preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease.
The following recommendations were made to NHLBI by the members of the Workshop. The recommendations are included below in their order of prioritization based on a balance between feasibility/burden and clinical impact/return.
A summary of the workshop proceedings and recommendations will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Last Updated: November 2010