Offspring Cardiovascular Disease in Preeclampsia
Nature Versus Nurture?
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See related article, pp 591–598
Several epidemiological studies have suggested that the offspring of mothers with preeclampsia and gestation hypertension have increased risk for long-term hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD).1–3 In a study reported in this issue of Hypertension, Alsnes et al,4 using a prospective cohort analysis on offspring cardiovascular risk in young adulthood after hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, confirm that offspring exposed to maternal hypertension during pregnancy had a worse cardiovascular risk profile in adulthood compared with those of normal pregnancies.4 Consistent with previous studies,5,6 differences in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, and waist circumference were found in the adult offspring with exposure to any maternal hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. Intriguingly, the authors also found that the siblings born after a normotensive pregnancy had similar changes as their exposed siblings. These data suggest that the pregnancy milieu of maternal hypertension may be unlikely to play a role in the pathogenesis of offspring hypertension.
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific vascular disease characterized by maternal hypertension and proteinuria and resolves after delivery of the placenta. Mothers with a history of preeclampsia eventually develop salt-sensitive hypertension and CVD.7 Vascular …