Preeclampsia heart disease and stroke: Hi Everyone... - PMRGCAuk

PMRGCAuk
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Preeclampsia heart disease and stroke

Rimmy
Rimmy

Hi Everyone

I'm not sure if this has ever come up on this forum but it may significant for some of us a least - and I'm afraid it's not 'good news' !

I heard a discussion today on our OZ Radio National's well-respected: 'Health Report' about the 'substantially' increased later risk for women who have had preeclampsia in pregnancy of heart disease and stroke. 'Oh dear' I sighed - not ANOTHER 'risk' - having had this condition in both my pregnancies. Without going into lots of detail here those of you who had this condition (which is in about 5-10% of all pregnancies) might like to do some further research - as it seems - guess what ? - that many doctors are not very aware of this relationship. It is at least generally better understood now that research about heart disease has not been focused on the kinds of symptoms women might or might not manifest and that quite young women *can* have heart attacks without fitting the 'generally male, older, overweight, unfit' kind of profile many - even medicos still imagine.

Anyway not to alarm but a few more details from an Australian website about preeclampsia:

'Women who have had preeclampsia have three to four times the risk of high blood pressure and double the risk for heart disease and stroke. They also have an increased risk of developing diabetes. For women who had preeclampsia and delivered preterm, had low-birthweight babies, or suffered from severe preeclampsia more than once, the risk of heart disease can be even higher. While still unknown whether the risk is caused by preeclampsia or if the woman was already predisposed, these risks first emerge in the years following a complicated pregnancy.'

Sorry to be the bearer of less than 'good news'

Best wishes

Rimmy

12 Replies
oldestnewest

Thanks for posting Rimmy. Another example of gender biased medicine. At least we are or should be closely monitored with our conditions.

Rimmy
Rimmy in reply to SheffieldJane

Yes SJ - an 'outstanding' example unfortunately - and obviously a compounding consideration for those of us with that history given our already increased propensity to vascular conditions.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador

Mmmm- but it sounds as if it is something that should be an indicator for closer monitoring at an earlier stage. I have had raised BP but all they have looked at in the last 6 years shows nothing cardiac besides atrial fibrillation and the BP is well managed. It is nearly 40 years since my pre-eclampsia, my BP dropped to normal during the epidural anaesthetic and never budged again which is quite unusual. Most people seem to have longer lasting problems.

Rimmy
Rimmy in reply to PMRpro

Thanks - i haven't read a lot extra about this as yet - they are currently making a 'fuss' about it in the media here - like it is a 'new' connection. I notice however they seem to be mainly equating pre-eclampsia with 'high BP' whereas I thought it sounded more complex than (just) that. My BP was high with it and also normalised afterwards - I also never had the 'sugar' issue with it either - but very 'puffy'- this was in the 1970s (ha ha !!). I will follow any research I can find but I think they are as you suggest they are most interested in younger women having heart attacks and strokes.

Cheerio

Rimmy

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Rimmy

Pre-eclampsia is far more than just raised BP - that would be just essential hypertension, pre-eclampsia involves protein in urine and fluid retention/weight gain. Mine was 1980 (just) - I just had high BP until they decided to put me on medication for the BP when all the protein in urine and fluid retention problems appeared. I sat on the edge of the bed and watched my feet turn into footballs. It so happened our friend was rep for the company - and he was furious. It has never been tried in pregnancy and wasn't approved - so if anything had gone wrong there was no comeback.

Rimmy
Rimmy in reply to PMRpro

It seemed to me even then (1975) - I was young - in my early 20s and didn't know much-but there was quite a bit of variation in other's (around me in the hospital) experience of this illness. I had the suddenly high BP and fluid retention (big time) but no protein in urine. I was not medicated at all - just 'put to bed' to 'keep calm' for a month before delivery - which they really botched up (but I wont go into that here). I recall my poor mother - who had already lost eyesight with undiagnosed GCA walking miles to visit me in the hospital - they took my BP while she was there - it was 'raised' so after 5 mins they sent her home - as the 'cause'. Well that made me very upset - and no doubt my BP was much worse - a horrid memory. That maternity hospital in Auckland was really 'bad' - now I'd know exactly what to say !!

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Rimmy

Mine rose, stabilised for a week, rose, stabilised for a week... All the staff knew (I thought) and always told me what it was. Then an Aussie midwife appeared. She asked me "Has you tummy worked?" - I BEG your pardon? Then one took my BP. Without saying a word as to why she switched the lights off, pulled down the blinds, dropped the head of the bed and rushed off saying "lie still". Of course, by the time the sister arrived I was up to high doh! Boy did she get a ticking off - had she bothered to look at my notes she would have seen it was "normal" for me. And was told in no uncertain terms to ALWAYS tell this patient what the readings are when she asks...

I had a c-section with an epidural - revolutionary then - which was OK. Then for 3 days I just pee'd - lost 30-odd lbs as a result :-) which was a relief!

Rimmy
Rimmy in reply to PMRpro

Ha ha !!! PMRpro I also 'lost' that kind of 'weight' after the birth - I felt SO light I could almost 'float' - literally STONES virtually overnight- it was quite a bizarre feeling but fantastic after being so 'blown up AND pregnant - well you know what it was like !! I wouldn't do all that again - even if I could for QUIDS !!!

My previously ridiculously healthy daughter developed pre eclampsia with her first and only pregnancy. She developed peripartum cardiomyopathy two days after her son Jude’s birth by emergency c section at 36 weeks. It started two weeks before with a bad cough and she was given antibiotics. She had a chest X-ray which showed a shadow in her lungs. This turned out to be her lungs filling with fluid. Nicola went to the heart unit and her new born baby and boyfriend came home with me. Hardly surprising I developed GCA/PMR the following year. She is doing well but will remain on heart medication for the rest of her life. I know doctors resist giving antibiotics. Nicola is fast tracked through the doors of our surgery for the most minor condition which could be dangerous for her and ALWAYS given antibiotics as a precaution. Her long term future cannot be predicted and we live with that. Fearfully I must admit.. her PPCM was caused by hormones attacking her heart. A rare condition more common in Africa and Egypt where they cannot afford research into this. Nicola is part of a world wide registry to gather information on this illness

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Elaine-W

How horrible - and yes, no wonder you copped it too! All the very best for you all.

Elaine-W
Elaine-W in reply to PMRpro

Thank you x

Rimmy
Rimmy in reply to Elaine-W

Goodness - what a terrible experience - and as PMRpro said no wonder you became unwell. I hope your daughter and grandchild are doing OK now !

Best wishes

Rimmy

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