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Preeclampsia: long-term consequences for vascular health

Authors Amaral L, Cunningham Jr MW, Cornelius D, LaMarca B

Received 28 February 2015

Accepted for publication 29 April 2015

Published 15 July 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 403—415

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S64798

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Daniel Duprez


Lorena M Amaral, Mark W Cunningham Jr, Denise C Cornelius, Babbette LaMarca

Department of Pharmacology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA

Abstract: Preeclampsia (PE) is a pregnancy-specific syndrome and one of the leading causes of preterm birth, neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality. This disease is characterized by new onset hypertension usually in the third trimester of pregnancy and is sometimes associated with proteinuria, although proteinuria is not a requirement for the diagnosis of PE. In developing countries, women have a higher risk of death due to PE than more affluent countries and one of the most frequent causes of death is high blood pressure and stroke. Although PE only affects approximately 2%–8% of pregnancies worldwide it is associated with severe complications such as eclampsia, hemorrhagic stroke, hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets (HELLP syndrome), renal failure and pulmonary edema. Importantly, there is no “cure” for the disease except for early delivery of the baby and placenta, leaving PE a health care risk for babies born from PE moms. In addition, PE is linked to the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke in women after reproductive age, leaving PE a risk factor for long-term health in women. This review will highlight factors implicated in the pathophysiology of PE that may contribute to long-term effects in women with preeclamptic pregnancies.

Keywords: preeclampsia, endothelial dysfunction, AT1-AA, CD4+ T helper cells

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