Previous Pre-Eclampsia, Gestational Diabetes and Hypertension Place Women at High Cardiovascular Risk: But Do We Ask?

Anum Aslam, Sheneli Perera, Monique Watts, David Kaye, Jaime Layland, Stephen J. Nicholls, James Cameron, Sarah Zaman

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Women who experience vascular complications of pregnancy, including pre-eclampsia, hypertension and diabetes, are at increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). Yet patients and their medical providers have low awareness of the significance of these ‘non-traditional’ cardiovascular risk factors. We aimed to determine the prevalence and medical provider awareness of pregnancy-related cardiovascular risk factors in women with CAD. Methods: Women aged 18–70 years treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) across three tertiary hospitals were invited to participate in a pregnancy-related telephone interview at 12 months post-PCI. Electronic medical records (EMR) were retrospectively reviewed for documentation of pregnancy-related cardiovascular risk factors in the 12 months prior to, and including, the PCI admission. Results: A total of 102 women (mean age 59.8±7.7 years) underwent PCI for CAD and completed the pregnancy history questionnaire. Approximately three-quarters (73.5%, 75/102) of women had been pregnant, of which 25.3% (19/75) had experienced vascular complications consisting of pre-eclampsia 31.5% (6/19), gestational diabetes 36.8% (7/19), and gestational hypertension 73.6% (14/19). Documentation of traditional CVD risk factors occurred in 209/211 episodes of emergency or cardiology contact (99.1%), while documentation of ‘non-traditional’ pregnancy-related cardiovascular risk factors occurred in 0/211 episodes of emergency or cardiology contact. Conclusion: More than a quarter of women treated with PCI for CAD had experienced a past pregnancy-related vascular complication. Despite vascular complications of pregnancy predicting future CAD, medical providers were not obtaining a history of these ‘non-traditional’ cardiovascular risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-157
Number of pages4
JournalHeart Lung and Circulation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Women's health

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