Pre-eclampsia increases risk of end stage kidney disease, study finds

Women with pre-eclampsia during pregnancy have a five-fold increased risk of end stage kidney disease (ESKD) later in life compared to women who don’t develop pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Ali Khashan of University College Cork, Ireland, and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden and Liverpool University, UK.

As the prevalence of kidney disease has risen over recent years, it has become clear that more women have pre-dialysis kidney disease than men. Reproductive history, including the development of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, has been hypothesized to play a role. In the new study, researchers analyzed data from the Swedish Medical Birth Register on 1,366,441 healthy women with 2,665,320 singleton live births in Sweden between 1982 and 2012.

The data revealed that women who had pre-eclampsia in at least one pregnancy were nearly five times more likely to have ESKD than women who had never had pre-eclampsia (hazard ratio 4.96; 95%CI 3.89-6.32). The incidence rate of ESKD per 100,000 person-years was 1.85 (95%CI 1.66-2.05) among women with no history of pre-eclampsia and 12.35 (95%CI 9.61-15.88) among women with a history of pre-eclampsia. Moreover, the association was independent of other factors including maternal age and education, and diagnoses of renal disease or cardiovascular disease before pregnancy.

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