Heart dis­ease, preeclamp­sia linked

The New Age (Gauteng) - - KWAZULU-NATAL NEWS - TNA RE­PORTER

A NEW study has found that preeclamp­sia in preg­nant women may per­ma­nently al­ter blood ves­sels, in­creas­ing a life­long risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

The study by Penn State re­searchers com­pared women who had had healthy preg­nan­cies to those who suf­fered preeclamp­sia dur­ing their preg­nan­cies.

Preeclamp­sia is a preg­nancy com­pli­ca­tion that causes high blood pres­sure and can lead to kid­ney dam­age, among oth­ers.

Re­searchers found that blood ves­sels of women who suf­fered preeclamp­sia func­tioned dif­fer­ently to those of women who had healthy preg­nan­cies.

“We were able to show that even though the symp­toms of preeclamp­sia go away once the woman gives birth, there’s still an un­der­ly­ing dys­func­tion in the blood ves­sels. This sug­gests that some­thing hap­pens dur­ing a preeclamp­tic preg­nancy that per­ma­nently changes the way blood ves­sels func­tion,” post-doc­toral fel­low in the Col­lege of Health and Hu­man De­vel­op­ment Anna Stan­hewicz said.

The study is the first to look at the ef­fects of preeclamp­sia on hu­man blood ves­sels af­ter pre­vi­ous re­search looked at mice and rats.

“We wanted to see if ves­sel dys­func­tion does in fact still oc­cur af­ter preg­nancy. If we com­pare how well the blood ves­sels are func­tion­ing in women that had preeclamp­sia to women who had a healthy preg­nancy, do we see a dif­fer­ence and also, if we can see a dif­fer­ence, what is con­tribut­ing to that?”

A to­tal of 24 par­tic­i­pants took part in the study.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion has said over 800 women die from preg­nancy or child­birth re­lated com­pli­ca­tions around the world. – 701478

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