Pre-eclampsia Versus Cardiovascular Disease Versus CRP
Pre-eclampsia (PE), a hypertensive disorder of human pregnancy, shares some similarities with atherosclerosis and some studies support the theory that PE may work as a marker of increased cardiovascular risk later in life. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease and raised C-reactive protein (CRP) levels have emerged as a powerful marker in predicting cardiovascular events. PE may represent an exacerbated form of inflammation compared with normal pregnancies; actually, a large number of studies have reported higher CRP levels in women with established PE. This paper reviews the association of elevated CRP levels with the development of PE and with the development of cardiovascular disease later in life. The need of studies evaluating CRP, as well as other novel cardiovascular risk factors, in non-pregnant women with a history of PE is highlighted, and attention is given to the potential preventive strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk in such women.
Keywords: Pre-eclampsia, Cardiovascular disease, C-reactive protein
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