Connection Between Pregnancy, Dementia, Cardiovascular Disease & Stroke

Emobileclinic Researchers’ corner

A recent study examined if truly pregnancy hypertensive disease increases subsequent risk of dementia and risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke after pregnancy hypertensive disease.

Having high blood pressure is something that is very common in pregnancy (pre-eclampsia) and management of pregnancy induced hypertension is important to achieve successful life delivery of baby. Women with a pregnancy complicated pre-eclampsia have also been shown in several studies to be associated with an ‘ increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as ischemic heart disease and stroke, later in life’ According to the researchers’ pre-eclampsia and CVD share many risk factors, including obesity and diabetes.’Pregnancy is a phase that influences so many parts of female’s body “Pregnancy has been described as a stress test for the cardiovascular system. There is also the possibility that pre-eclampsia is an independent risk factor due to endothelial changes during the pregnancy’. ‘This changes have been shown to persist at least years after the pregnancy ‘says another study.

The researchers used a large female cohort of 3232 women 65 years or older, collected from National Patient Register between 1998-2002. These were women who had reported history of hypertension during pregnancy.

Using various parameters, such as causes of death, body mass index, education, smoking, alcohol consumption etc.’ Age at inclusion was set as a time-dependent variable, and adjustments were made for body mass index, education and smoking.

The result of the researchers shows there was no increased risk of dementia after self-reported pregnancy hypertensive disease in the study. The result however supported ‘ previously reported increased risk of CVD and stroke after pregnancy hypertensive disease persists in an older population.’ 7 6% of women who had hypertension in pregnancy were later affected with dementia while 7.4% of still had dementia despite not been hypertensive in pregnancy.

When compared with CVD, it was 22.9% to 19% respectively and for stroke 13.4% for previously pregnancy hypertensive and 10.7% for those without it.

This study is important because it was able to address ‘ a potential association between hypertensive complications during pregnancy and dementia later in life. The study in line with previous studies shows, ‘ higher risk of stroke in women with pregnancy hypertensive disease, though with borderline significance.’ However they only refers to risk of stroke in women aged at least 65 years.



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‘Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden’ by Nelander






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