Pregnancy History, Hypertension, and Cognitive Impairment in Postmenopausal Women

Kathleen B. Miller, Virginia M. Miller, Jill N. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Purpose of Review: Risks for developing cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline increase with age. In women, these risks may be influenced by pregnancy history. This review provides an integrated evaluation of associations of pregnancy history with hypertension, brain atrophy, and cognitive decline in postmenopausal women. Recent Findings: Atrophy in the occipital lobes of the brain was evident in women who had current hypertension and a history of preeclampsia. Deficits in visual memory in women with a history of preeclampsia are consistent with these brain structural changes. The blood velocity response to chemical and sympathoexcitatory stimuli were altered in women with a history of preeclampsia linking impairments in cerebrovascular regulation to the structural and functional changes in the brain. Summary: Having a history of preeclampsia should require close monitoring of blood pressure and initiation of anti-hypertensive treatment in perimenopausal women. Mechanisms by which preeclampsia affects cerebrovascular structure and function require additional study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number93
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Volume21
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Gray matter
  • Menopause
  • Neurovascular control
  • Preeclampsia
  • White matter hyperintensities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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