Her study hypothesis was that adding hypertensive disorders of pregnancy – that is, gestational hypertension and preeclampsia – and parity to the current ACC/AHA ASCVD Risk Calculator would enhance the tool’s predictive tool’s power in women.
“We wanted to know if a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy can be leveraged to capture women currently being missed in screening,” she explained.
Her expectation that this would be the case was based on solid evidence that hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which occur in 10%-15% of all pregnancies, are associated with subsequent increased risk of cardiovascular events. For example, a meta-analysis of published studies involving nearly 3.5 million women, including almost 200,000 with a history of preeclampsia, showed that preeclampsia was associated with a 2.16-fold increased risk of ischemic heart disease during 11.7 years of follow-up (). This meta-analysis was among the evidence that persuaded the AHA in 2011 to formally add hypertensive disorders of pregnancy to the list of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women ( ).
Dr. Stuart also incorporated parity in her investigational revised ASCVD risk model, because parity has been shown to be an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease in a relationship described by a J-shaped curve.