Maternal hypertensive disorder of pregnancy and offspring early-onset cardiovascular disease in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood: A national population-based cohort study

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  • Chen Huang, Fudan University
  • ,
  • Jiong Li
  • Guoyou Qin, Fudan University
  • ,
  • Zeyan Liew, Yale University
  • ,
  • Jing Hu, Fudan University
  • ,
  • Krisztina D. László, Karolinska Institutet
  • ,
  • Fangbiao Tao, Anhui Medical University, Anhui Provincial Key Laboratory of Population Health and Aristogenics
  • ,
  • Carsten Obel
  • Jørn Olsen
  • Yongfu Yu, Fudan University

Background The:prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been increasing : in children, adolescents, and young adults in recent decades. Exposure to adverse intrauterine environment in fetal life may contribute to the elevated risk of early-onset CVD. Many studies have shown that maternal hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are associated with increased risks of congenital heart disease, high blood pressure, increased BMI, and systemic vascular dysfunction in offspring. However, empirical evidence on the association between prenatal exposure to maternal HDP and early-onset CVD in childhood and adolescence remains limited. Methods and findings We conducted a population-based cohort study using Danish national health registers, including 2,491,340 individuals born in Denmark from 1977 to 2018. Follow-up started at birth and ended at the first diagnosis of CVD, emigration, death, or 31 December 2018, whichever came first. Exposure of maternal HDP was categorized as preeclampsia or eclampsia (n = 68,387), gestational hypertension (n = 18,603), and pregestational hypertension (n = 15,062). Outcome was the diagnosis of early-onset CVD from birth to young adulthood (up to 40 years old). We performed Cox proportional hazards regression to evaluate the associations and whether the association differed by maternal history of CVD or diabetes before childbirth. We further assessed the association by timing of onset and severity of preeclampsia. The median follow-up time was 18.37 years, and 51.3% of the participants were males. A total of 4,532 offspring in the exposed group (2.47 per 1,000 person-years) and 94,457 in the unexposed group (2.03 per 1,000 person-years) were diagnosed with CVD. We found that exposure to maternal HDP was associated with an increased risk of early-onset CVD (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.23; 95% CI = 1.19 to 1.26; P < 0.001). The HRs for preeclampsia or eclampsia, gestational hypertension, and pregestational hypertension were 1.22 (95% CI, 1.18 to 1.26; P < 0.001), 1.25 (95% CI, 1.17 to 1.34; P < 0.001), and 1.28 (95% CI, 1.15 to 1.42; P < 0.001), respectively. We also observed increased risks for type-specific CVDs, in particular for hypertensive disease (HR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.96 to 2.27; P < 0.001) and myocardial infarction (HR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.98; P = 0.007). Strong associations were found among offspring of mothers with CVD history (HR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.41 to 1.98; P < 0.001) or comorbid diabetes (HR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.34 to 1.83; P < 0.001). When considering timing of onset and severity of preeclampsia on offspring CVD, the strongest association was observed for early-onset and severe preeclampsia (HR, 1.48, 95% CI, 1.30 to 1.67; P < 0.001). Study limitations include the lack of information on certain potential confounders (including smoking, physical activity, and alcohol consumption) and limited generalizability in other countries with varying disparities in healthcare. Conclusions Offspring born to mothers with HDP, especially mothers with CVD or diabetes history, were at increased risks of overall and certain type-specific early-onset CVDs in their first decades of life. Further research is warranted to better understand the mechanisms underlying the relationship between maternal HDP and early-onset CVD in offspring.

TidsskriftPLOS Medicine
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2021

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