Pregnancy biomarkers linked with long-term cardiovascular risk

Researchers at Oslo University Hospital have been looking at women with diabetes and preeclampsia during pregnancy, and have found that while both these groups have long-term cardiovascular disease risk, their biomarker profiles are different, according to a study published in Pregnancy Hypertension. Understanding these biomarker profiles could help doctors predict women's risk of cardiovascular disease from their blood profiles during pregnancy, as well as potentially see who might be at risk of diabetes or preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia, leading to high blood pressure and protein in the urine, is a frightening and dangerous condition that can occur in the second half of a pregnancy, and put both the mother and baby at risk. Diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) can increase the risk of preeclampsia and premature labor, and can make the unborn baby put on extra weight.

The researchers screened 262 women between weeks 24 and 42, each carrying a single baby. Women with diabetes only had lower levels of plasma midregional proatrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) than those with healthy pregnancies, but women with both diabetes and preeclampsia had increased levels compared with healthy women. Women with diabetes alone or diabetes with late-onset preeclampsia had raised levels of neopterin, a marker of an inflammatory immune response. Other biomarkers raised in women with preeclampsia and diabetes included plasma midregional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM).

According to MedWire News, the authors said: "Longitudinal studies are needed to conclude whether a CV [cardiovascular] biomarker profiling during pregnancy is helpful in targeting women at risk in order to implement prophylactic measures for future CVD [cardiovascular disease]."

- see the abstract
- check out the article in MedWire News