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Short and long-term complications of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: lifelong cardiovascular risks we cannot ignore.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) pose a significant threat to maternal cardiovascular health, with emerging research shedding light on the enduring risks beyond the gestational period. This review highlights updates regarding cardiovascular risks associated with HDP and their implications for long-term health.

RECENT FINDINGS: Patients with a history of HDP are at an elevated risk of developing chronic hypertension, ischemic heart disease, stroke, valvular heart disease, and heart failure.Not surprisingly, patients with HDP experience higher rates of maternal and fetal adverse events in the antepartum and immediate postpartum periods, with high readmission rates for cardiovascular complications. The high risk of chronic hypertension after a HDP then leads to the development of subclinical disease over 5-10 years with overt cardiovascular disease becoming most prevalent in the decades following pregnancy. Early hypertension management in the antepartum and postpartum periods has lifelong health benefits and highlights the need for seamless postpartum transitions with close blood pressure monitoring and cardiovascular risk mitigation.

SUMMARY: HDP significantly increases the risk of short and long-term adverse cardiovascular events. Integrated healthcare models that assess and address postpartum cardiovascular risk are necessary to improve the cardiovascular health and longevity of those effected by HDP.

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