Postpartum evaluation and long term implications

Tabassum Firoz, Tanya Melnik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hypertension, proteinuria and biochemical changes caused by pre-eclampsia may persist for several weeks and even months postpartum. Hypertension and pre-eclampsia may even develop for the first time postpartum. Care in the six weeks postpartum should include management of hypertension and screening for secondary causes of hypertension including renal disease if abnormalities persist beyond six weeks. Optimal postpartum monitoring for patients with preeclampsia has not been determined, and care needs to be individualized. The postpartum period also provides a window of opportunity for planning for the next pregnancy in addition to discussing long term implications of pre-eclampsia. Increased risk for the development of premature cardiovascular disease is the most significant long term implication of pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia and cardiovascular disease share a common disease pathophysiology. Women who develop pre-eclampsia have pre-existing metabolic abnormalities or may develop them later in life. Women with early onset pre-eclampsia are at the highest risk of ischemic heart disease. Women with a history of pre-eclampsia should adopt a heart healthy lifestyle and should be screened and treated for traditional cardiovascular risk factors according to locally accepted guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-561
Number of pages13
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • cardiovascular disease
  • postpartum evaluation
  • pre-eclampsia

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