PP030. Cardiovascular disease and risk in a pregnant woman's father as a risk factor for preeclampsia

C E Parker, D A Doherty, B N Walters
Pregnancy Hypertension 2012, 2 (3): 258

INTRODUCTION: In women experiencing their first pregnancy the assessment of risk of developing a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP) including preeclampsia is imprecise. Identification of women at higher than normal risk of developing preeclampsia may improve pregnancy management and lead to better outcomes. Previous studies, mostly retrospective, have indicated a possible link between cardiovascular history and risk of preeclampsia.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the self-reported family history of cardiovascular disease and risk (CVD/R) during an antenatal interview as a means of screening for risk of developing preeclampsia or other HDP.

METHODS: Nulliparous women were recruited prospectively in early pregnancy before diagnosis of any HDP. Women reported on their maternal characteristics and the history of cardiovascular health in themselves, their parents and siblings and the father of the baby and his parents and siblings. Cardiovascular health was assessed as cardiovascular risk (high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes) and cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, angina and any major vascular surgery). Pregnancy outcomes were recorded after delivery, the diagnoses of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and superimposed preeclampsia being assigned according to the criteria defined by SOMANZ, 2008. A nominal logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the effects of family history on risk of developing HDP while adjusting for clinical risk factors known at the time of recruitment.

RESULTS: Nine hundred and ninety-seven women completed the study. Median gestational age at recruitment was 31.3weeks (Interquartile range [IQR] 24.4-35.9, range 5.6-39.1). Median age was 27.0years (IQR 23.0-32.0, range 16.0-45.0), median BMI was 28.6 (IQR 24.8-36.4, range 16.7-64.4) and 76.4% of the women did not smoke during the pregnancy. Preeclampsia was diagnosed in 12.6% of the women (103/997 preeclampsia, 23/997 superimposed) and 6.2% developed gestational hypertension (62/997). CVD/R was reported by 22.3% of mothers (including 1.7% of CVD alone) and in 9.3% of the partners (including 1.7% of CVD alone). Women reported CVD/R in 39.1% of their mothers (including 6.5% CVD alone) and in 42.2% (including 13.3% CVD alone) of their fathers. Women reported CVD/R in 30.3% (including 6.1% CVD alone) of the partners' mothers and in 38.9% (including 15.0% CVD alone) of the partners' fathers. Women who knew of CVD/R in their fathers had increased risk of preeclampsia (16.2% vs. 10.1%; Odds Ratio [OR]=.66 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.16-2.36, p=.005) that remained elevated after adjustments for maternal age, BMI, smoking in pregnancy and maternal CVD/R. No similar increase in risk of gestational hypertension was evident (7.4% vs. 5.4%; OR=1.31 95% CI0.81-2.10,p=0.272). CVD/R reported for any other family member did not significantly alter the woman's risk of developing preeclampsia or any other HDP.

CONCLUSION: The presence of a history of CVD/R in the father of the pregnant woman indicated an increased risk of developing preeclampsia. The possibility of a similar association between CVD/R in other family members and HDP may exist however women in their first pregnancy may not have sufficient knowledge of family history. This lack of comprehensive information may limit the potential value of family history in determining the risk of preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.

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