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A postpartum program for preeclampsia survivors to improve long-term heart health

How to treat preeclampsia in pregnant patients is outlined in guidelines from several medical organizations. How to continue to treat preeclampsia survivors in the medical setting after pregnancy is much less clear. This is important to establish because we now know that women with a history of preeclampsia have a higher chance for health complications in later life, like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. This study reports the beginning results of a program the researchers created to deliver postpartum care for preeclampsia survivors called the “Woman’s Care Program after Preeclampsia” in Nantes, France. The researchers report the results from 134 women in the program so far, who all had a recent history of preeclampsia and were within a year of delivery. In this program, the preeclampsia survivors’ health was checked within one year of delivery, including measuring and monitoring risk factors for heart disease, while the program also taught the survivors to make heart healthy lifestyle changes. From the first group of survivors in the program, the researchers were able to identify 28 cases of high blood pressure (20.9%) and 34 cases of obesity (25.3%). Risk factors for high blood pressure after preeclampsia were age (average age of 35 years), being from sub-Saharan Africa, and having had more than one child.  The researchers highlight that their program allowed for early detection and treatment of risk factors to help slow down or stop cardiovascular disease before it develops in preeclampsia survivors. It is crucial to the future health of survivors that programs like these are created and tested to make sure that a history of preeclampsia becomes only a warning sign for future disease and a chance to change our health behaviors.


About Research Roundup

Each quarter, our team of researchers reviews the most current studies related to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and selects those studies they feel will be of greatest interest to our community to summarize.

Special thanks to our volunteer research team, who under the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Sutton, make Research Roundup possible: Alisse Hauspurg, MD Felicia LeMoine, MD Jenny Sones, PhD, DVM, and Robin Trupp, PhD, RN.

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