An article from September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings says that woman who have a past history of pre-eclampsia are more prone to atherosclerosis. But this atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of blood vessels) may not occur soon after pregnancy, but may appear decades after the pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia can affect 2 to 7 of pregnancies and is commonly characterized by increased blood pressure which can occur soon after pregnancy or may develop slowly.
Several observational and follow-up studies found that pre-eclampsia may threatens the lives of pregnant woman (not all pregnant woman) and foetus and may cause several consequences after pregnancy life.
In another study, Vesna Garovic, researcher at Mayo Clinic Division of Nephrology and Hypertension says that pre-eclampsia continues even after child birth and these observations can be used to determine the risk factors that throws woman into cardiovascular consequences after post pregnancy life.
Health records of Rochester Epidemiology Project found that postmenopausal woman with the history of pre-eclampsia had thick carotid artery intima-media or thick artery walls when compared to similar aged postmenopausal women without the history of pre-eclampsia.
Dr. Garovic said that, postmenopausal women without cardiovascular events but with a history of pre-eclampsia are prone to greater risk of atherosclerosis at later postmenopausal years. Thus, pre-eclampsia can be considered as a pregnancy complication which extends beyond pregnancy days.