Objectives: Women with a history of preeclampsia have an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases later in life. Persistent vascular alterations in the postpartum period might contribute to this increased risk. The current study assessed arterial stiffness under low sodium (LS) and high sodium (HS) conditions in a well-characterized group of formerly early-onset preeclamptic (fPE) women and formerly pregnant (fHP) women. Methods: 18 fHP and 18 fPE women were studied at an average of 5 years after pregnancy on one week of LS (50 mmol Na+/day) and one week of HS (200 mmol Na+/day) intake. Arterial stiffness was measured by pulse wave analysis (aortic augmentation index, AIx) and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). Circulating markers of the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), extracellular volume (ECV), nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) were measured in an effort to identify potential mechanistic elements underlying adaptation of arterial stiffness. Results: AIx was significantly lower in fHP women on LS compared to HS while no difference in AIx was apparent in fPE women. PWV remained unchanged upon different sodium loads in either group. Comparable sodium dependent changes in RAAS, ECV and NO/H2S were observed in fHP and fPE women. Conclusions: fPE women have an impaired ability to adapt their arterial stiffness in response to changes in sodium intake, independently of blood pressure, RAAS, ECV, and NO/H2S status. The pathways involved in impaired adaptation of arterial stiffness, and its possible contribution to the increased long-term risk for cardiovascular diseases in fPE women remains to be investigated.
- Arterial stiffness
- augmentation index
- formerly preeclamptic women
- sodium intake
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology