Abstract P611: Vascular-mediated Preterm Birth is Associated with Cardiovascular Risk after Pregnancy
Objective: To investigate whether preterm birth and placental evidence of malperfusion is associated with subclinical atherosclerosis and a higher cardiovascular risk factor burden 4 to 12 years after pregnancy.
Methods: A cohort of women with preterm (n=119) and term births (n=242), mean age 38 years, was examined on average eight years after pregnancy for carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT), fasting lipids, blood pressure and inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein [hsCRP] and Interleukin-6 [IL-6]). Pregnancy characteristics included placental pathology evidence of malperfusion (vasculopathy, infarct, advanced villous maturation, perivillous fibrin, fibrin deposition), infection (chorioamnionitis, funisitis, deciduitus), villitis (chronic inflammation), fetal thrombosis or chorangiosis. Vascular-mediated preterm births were those with malperfusion lesions, and by design, those with preeclampsia were excluded.
Results: Women with malperfusion lesions had a higher mean carotid IMT (+0.055 cm), total cholesterol (+17.49 mg/dl), LDL-C (+11.44), triglycerides (+17%), apolipoprotein-B (+8.95) and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (+4.58/+2.62 mmHg) compared to women with term births, independent of age, race, smoking and adiposity assessed before and after pregnancy (all p<0.05). Women with preterm birth and evidence of malperfusion accompanied by other lesions related to infection or chronic inflammation had the most atherogenic profile after pregnancy, and carotid IMT differences were independent of traditional risk factors (+0.04 cm; p=0.027).
Conclusions: Vascular-mediated preterm birth is associated with maternal subclinical atherosclerosis and a higher cardiovascular risk factor burden in the decade after pregnancy compared to term birth. The placenta may offer unique insight into how pregnancy complications can portend the emergence of maternal cardiovascular disease.
Author Disclosures: J.M. Catov: None. S.E. Reis: None. M.F. Muldoon: None. R.B. Ness: None. L. Nguyen: None. W.T. Parks: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.