Abnormal Placentas Predict Early Cardiovascular Disease
Reported November 18, 2005
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — In a recent study headed by Joel Ray, M.D., from the University of Toronto in Canada, researchers found women with a maternal placental syndrome during pregnancy have a higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease.
A maternal placental syndrome may be caused by obesity, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure or raised blood lipids, which are all also independent predictors of cardiovascular disease. The syndromes include pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure during pregnancy, and any conditions where the placental blood vessels become blocked.
In the study, investigators recruited more than 1 million women free from cardiovascular disease before their first documented pregnancy. Of these women, 75,000 were diagnosed with maternal placental syndrome. The researchers followed participants for an average of nine years after giving birth and recorded the presence of cardiovascular disease. At the end of the study, they found women who had maternal placental syndrome had double the relative risk of premature cardiovascular disease.
“The risk of premature cardiovascular disease is higher after a maternal placental syndrome, especially when the fetus is adversely affected,” Dr. Ray says. “Affected women should have their blood pressure and weight or waist measured about six months postpartum, and healthy lifestyle should be emphasized We believe the maternal placental syndrome should be considered as an additional risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women.”
SOURCE: The Lancet, published online Nov. 17, 2005