"This review analyzes recent epidemiological evidence of the long–term outcomes of preeclampsia and the background mechanisms of this phenomenon. Understanding the etiological background may provide guidance for the prevention and follow–up of women who experience preeclampsia.
- Preeclampsia, the leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, has been recently considered not only a pregnancy disease but also a risk factor for developing diseases later in life.
- Preeclampsia is becoming a disease of interest to internists and not just obstetricians.
- Women who have had preeclampsia seem to be at higher risk of premature death, mortality from ischemic heart disease, cardiovascular diseases including ischemic heart disease and hypertension, fatal and non–fatal stroke, venous thromboembolism, renal failure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, and cognitive defects, although they appear surprisingly protected from cancer.
- Furthermore, having had preeclampsia is a problem not only for the mother’s future health, but it also affects the offspring’s adult health.
- Children born from preeclamptic pregnancies are more prone to hypertension, insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus, neurological problems, stroke, and mental disorders along their life.
- Whether preeclampsia is a risk factor for disease later in life or it creates long–term organ damage is an intriguing question