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Understanding long-term effects of Preeclampsia and taking charge

Foundation joins Brigham and Women’s investigators on important research study

Preeclampsia puts women at increased risk for heart disease as well as stroke and high blood pressure later in life. Large population studies have demonstrated that two of three preeclampsia survivors will die of heart disease. That’s news to most survivors of preeclampsia and often – sadly – to their doctors.  The most common follow up question when our community learns about this well documented association is, “What am I supposed to do about that?”  

Heart Health 4 Moms (HH4M) is a large research study undertaken by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in collaboration with the Preeclampsia Foundation, designed to provide a practical intervention that would lower a woman’s risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study was unique in that it specifically incorporated patient perspective in its design and implementation in an effort to create an intervention that acknowledged:

  • New moms with young children and/or babies at home have little to no time to add more healthcare appointments into their schedule
  • Preeclampsia survivors are often emotionally shaken by their unexpected health scare
  • This is a unique time to leverage motivation for improving family health, not just mom’s health

The HH4M program improved preeclampsia survivors' knowledge of their CVD risk, increased their confidence in healthy eating and reduced their physical inactivity. There were no improvements in confidence for performing physical activity or increase in physical activity. Full results were recently published.  The Preeclampsia Foundation is continuing to work with this research team to bring useful interventions to our community

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