Journal Article

Metabolic syndrome following hypertensive disorders in pregnancy in a low-resource setting: A cohort study

Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (HDPs) are associated with risk of future metabolic syndrome. Despite the huge burden of HDPs in sub-Saharan Africa, this association has not been adequately studied in this population.

Study design
This was a prospective cohort study on pregnant women recruited between August 2017 - April 2018 and followed up to one year after their deliveries and evaluated for presence of metabolic syndrome at delivery, nine weeks, six months and one year.

Main outcome measures
Prevalence of metabolic syndrome.

A total of 488 pregnant women were included: 410 and 78 with HDPs and normotensive, respectively. None of the normotensive had metabolic syndrome until one year (1.7% = 1 out of 59 observations), while among those with HDPs were 17.4% (71 of 407), 8.7% (23 of 263), 4.7% (11 of 232) and 6.1% (17 of 278), at delivery, nine weeks, six months and one year postpartum, respectively. High BMI and blood pressure were the drivers of metabolic syndrome in this population. The incidence rate in HDPs versus normotensive at one year were, respectively, 57.5/1000 persons’ year (95%CI; 35.8 – 92.6) and 16.9/1000 persons’ years (95%CI; 2.4-118.3), with incidence rate ratio of 3.4/1000 person’s years. Only parity significantly predicted the presence of metabolic syndrome at one year [(aOR= 3.26/delivery (95%CI; 1.21-8.79)].

HDPs were associated with a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome up to one year postpartum. Women with HDPs should be routinely screened for metabolic syndrome within the first year postpartum to reduce cardiometabolic risks.