Endothelial Function and Circulating Biomarkers Are Disturbed in Women and Children After Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a long-term cardiovascular risk factor for the mother and possibly the offspring. Preeclampsia and cardiovascular diseases share common pathophysiological features, including endothelial dysfunction. We explored whether endothelial function, measured noninvasively, as well as circulating biomarkers reflecting lipid metabolism, angiogenesis, and inflammation, differed in paired mothers and offspring 5 to 8 years after delivery. Twenty-six mother and child pairs after pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia were compared with 17 mother and child pairs after uncomplicated pregnancies. In addition, we assessed whether concentrations of maternal circulating biomarkers at delivery predicted findings 5 to 8 years postpartum. We also included an assessment of early onset preeclampsia and specifically addressed the effects of small for gestational age. Endothelial function was significantly reduced in both mothers and children after preeclampsia when combined with a small-for-gestational-age infant compared with mothers and children after pregnancies without a small-for-gestational-age infant (mothers: P<0.001; children: P<0.05). Postpartum maternal soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (P=0.05) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (P=0.02) were elevated in the preeclampsia group compared with controls. High concentrations of these maternal biomarkers both at delivery and 5 to 8 years postpartum were also more frequent in preeclampsia compared with controls (P<0.05). The novelty of our study is the parallel finding of reduced endothelial function in mother and child pairs 5 to 8 years after small-for-gestational-age preeclamptic pregnancies, accompanied by increased inflammatory and antiangiogenic maternal biomarkers. This finding supports the concept of transgenerational risk of cardiovascular disease after preeclampsia.
- Received March 7, 2011.
- Revision received March 28, 2011.
- Accepted May 5, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.