Hypertension in Pregnancy and Future Cardiovascular Event Risk in Siblings

Publication Abstract

Weissgerber, T.L., Sarah E. Turner, T.H. Mosley, Sharon L. R. Kardia, C.L. Hanis, N.M. Milic, and V.D. Garovic. 2016. "Hypertension in Pregnancy and Future Cardiovascular Event Risk in Siblings." Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 27(3): 894-902.

Hypertension in pregnancy is a risk factor for future hypertension and cardiovascular disease. This may reflect an underlying familial predisposition or persistent damage caused by the hypertensive pregnancy. We sought to isolate the effect of hypertension in pregnancy by comparing the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in women who had hypertension in pregnancy and their sisters who did not using the dataset from the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy study, which examined the genetics of hypertension in white, black, and Hispanic siblings. This analysis included all sibships with at least one parous woman and at least one other sibling. After gathering demographic and pregnancy data, BP and serum analytes were measured. Disease -free survival was examined using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards regression. Compared with their sisters who did not have hypertension in pregnancy, women who had hypertension in pregnancy were more likely to develop new onset hypertension later in life, after adjusting for body mass index and diabetes (hazard ratio 1.75, 95% confidence interval 1.27-2.42). A sibling history of hypertension in pregnancy was also associated with an increased risk of hypertension in brothers and unaffected sisters, whereas an increased risk of cardiovascular events was observed in brothers only. These results suggest familial factors contribute to the increased risk of future hypertension in women who had hypertension in pregnancy. Further studies are needed to clarify the potential role of nonfamilial factors. Furthermore, a sibling history of hypertension in pregnancy may be a novel familial risk factor for future hypertension.


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