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Tilburg, Netherlands

Hermes W.,Medical Center Haaglanden Den Haag | Hermes W.,Leiden University | Franx A.,Sint Elisabeth Hospital Tilburg | van Pampus M.G.,University of Groningen | And 7 more authors.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Background: Cardiovascular disease is the cause of death in 32% of women in the Netherlands. Prediction of an individual's risk for cardiovascular disease is difficult, in particular in younger women due to low sensitive and specific tests for these women. 10% to 15% of all pregnancies are complicated by hypertensive disorders, the vast majority of which develop only after 36 weeks of gestation. Preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease in later life show both features of "the metabolic syndrome" and atherosclerosis. Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy and cardiovascular disease may develop by common pathophysiologic pathways initiated by similar vascular risk factors. Vascular damage occurring during preeclampsia or gestational hypertension may contribute to the development of future cardiovascular disease, or is already present before pregnancy. At present clinicians do not systematically aim at the possible cardiovascular consequences in later life after a hypertensive pregnancy disorder at term. However, screening for risk factors after preeclampsia or gestational hypertension at term may give insight into an individual's cardiovascular risk profile.Methods/Design: Women with a history of preeclampsia or gestational hypertension will be invited to participate in a cohort study 2 1/2 years after delivery. Participants will be screened for established modifiable cardiovascular risk indicators. The primary outcome is the 10-year cardiovascular event risk. Secondary outcomes include differences in cardiovascular parameters, SNP's in glucose metabolism, and neonatal outcome.Discussion: This study will provide evidence on the potential health gains of a modifiable cardiovascular risk factor screening program for women whose pregnancy was complicated by hypertension or preeclampsia. The calculation of individual 10-year cardiovascular event risks will allow identification of those women who will benefit from primary prevention by tailored interventions, at a relatively young age.Trial registration: The HYPITAT trial is registered in the clinical trial register as ISRCTN08132825. © 2010 Hermes et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Braeken M.A.K.A.,University of Tilburg | Braeken M.A.K.A.,Hasselt University | Braeken M.A.K.A.,Catholic University of Leuven | Jones A.,University College London | And 7 more authors.
Biological Psychology

Altered stress responsiveness is a risk factor for mental and physical illness. In non-pregnant populations, it is well-known that anxiety can alter the physiological regulation of stress reactivity. Characterization of corresponding risks for pregnant women and their offspring requires greater understanding of how stress reactivity and recovery are influenced by pregnancy and women's anxiety feelings. In the current study, women were presented repeatedly with mental arithmetic stress tasks in the first and third pregnancy trimester and reported their trait anxiety using the state trait anxiety inventory. Cardiovascular stress reactivity in late pregnancy was lower than reactivity in the first pregnancy trimester (heart rate (HR): t(197) = 4.98, p< .001; high frequency heart rate variability (HF HRV): t(196) = -2.09, p= .04). Less attenuation of stress reactivity occurred in more anxious women (HR: b= 0.15, SE = 0.06, p= .008; HF HRV: b= -10.97, SE = 4.79, p= .02). The study design did not allow the influence of habituation to repeated stress task exposure to be assessed separately from the influence of pregnancy progression. Although this is a limitation, the clear differences between anxious and non-anxious pregnant women are important, regardless of the extent to which differing habituation between the groups is responsible. Less dampened stress reactivity through pregnancy may pose long-term risks for anxious women and their offspring. Follow-up studies are required to determine these risks. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

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