Background: Results from a number of long-term follow-up studies have suggested that hypertensive disorders in pregnancy are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. More recently, this putative relationship has been substantiated with findings of elevated cardiovascular risk factors, such as lipid profiles and glucose, in women with a history of hypertensive pregnancy disorders. Homocysteine is a sensitive indicator of increased risk but data on homocysteine levels in women with a history of hypertensive pregnancy disorders are inconsistent. Design: This cohort study included 279 women with a history of hypertensive pregnancy disorders at term and 85 women with a history of uncomplicated pregnancies who participated in the Hypitat Risk Assessment Study (HyRAS). Methods: Blood samples for total homocysteine determination were taken 2.5 years postpartum. Homocysteine levels were determined in plasma using an immunoassay. Results: Women with a history of hypertensive pregnancy disorders had significant higher median homocysteine levels (10.66μmol/L) 2.5 years postpartum compared with women with a history uncomplicated pregnancies (9.82μmol/L; p=0.002). Women with a history of hypertensive pregnancy disorders had a higher risk of having a homocysteine level in the highest quartile (odds ratio 3.4, 95% confidence interval 1.5-7.6). Conclusion: At 2.5 years postpartum, women with a history hypertensive pregnancy disorders had higher homocysteine levels than women who had uncomplicated pregnancies. Although higher homocysteine levels might be a potential link between a history of hypertensive pregnancy disorders and increased cardiovascular disease risk later in life, the clinical implications remain an area for future research.
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