Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health after pre-eclampsia: The Motherhealth prospective cohort study protocol

Eliza C. Miller, Andrea Miltiades, Nicole Pimentel-Soler, Whitney A. Booker, Ruth Landau-Cahana, Randolph S. Marshall, Mary E. D'Alton, Ronald Wapner, Kirsten Lawrence Cleary, Natalie Bello

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Introduction Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases (CCVDs) are the leading cause of maternal mortality in the first year after delivery. Women whose pregnancies were complicated by pre-eclampsia are at particularly high risk for adverse events. In addition, women with a history of pre-eclampsia have higher risk of CCVD later in life. The physiological mechanisms that contribute to increased CCVD risk in these women are not well understood, and the optimal clinical pathways for postpartum CCVD risk reduction are not yet defined. Methods and analysis The Motherhealth Study (MHS) is a prospective cohort study at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), a quaternary care academic medical centre serving a multiethnic population in New York City. MHS began recruitment on 28 September 2018 and will enrol 60 women diagnosed with pre-eclampsia with severe features in the antepartum or postpartum period, and 40 normotensive pregnant women as a comparison cohort. Clinical data, biospecimens and measures of vascular function will be collected from all participants at the time of enrolment. Women in the pre-eclampsia group will complete an additional three postpartum study visits over 12-24 months. Visits will include additional detailed cardiovascular and cerebrovascular phenotyping. As this is an exploratory, observational pilot study, only descriptive statistics are planned. Data will be used to inform power calculations for future planned interventional studies. Ethics and dissemination The CUIMC Institutional Review Board approved this study prior to initiation of recruitment. All participants signed informed consent prior to enrolment. Results will be disseminated to the clinical and research community, along with the public, on completion of analyses. Data will be shared on reasonable request.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere043052
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • hypertension
  • maternal medicine
  • preventive medicine
  • stroke
  • stroke medicine
  • vascular medicine


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