Objective: To identify differences in women's cardiovascular risk, independent of obesity, one year after delivery of a pregnancy complicated by a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP). Methods: We compared traditional and novel cardiovascular risk factors of women recruited at delivery following the diagnosis of an HDP with those of women with uncomplicated pregnancies, at 3 months and 12-18 months postpartum. Measures included blood pressure, fasting lipids, inflammatory biomarkers, and measures of insulin resistance. Multiple linear regressions were used to adjust for body mass index (BMI) and other characteristics. Results: We studied 71 subjects: 31 women with HDP and 40 with an uncomplicated pregnancy. There were no significant differences between groups for total cholesterol, HDL-c, LDL-c, triglycerides, HgbA1c, or homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance. Values for tumor necrosis factor-α were significantly higher in the HDP group (p<0.01), while those for interleukin-6 and c-reactive protein were not. A diagnosis of HDP was associated with a 9amm Hg difference in systolic blood pressure at both 3 months and 1 year, after adjustment for age, BMI, race, family history of cardiovascular disease, tobacco use, and insurance. Conclusions: Women with HDP had significantly higher blood pressure 3 months and 1 year after delivery, independent of obesity. There were no significant differences in lipids or measures of insulin resistance after adjusting for BMI. Elevated blood pressure may account for the observed associations between HDP and future cardiovascular disease.
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