Preeclampsia is a major pregnancy complication associated with long-term maternal cardiometabolic disease. Research generally is focused on metabolic and pathophysiological changes during pregnancy, however, there is much less focus on the early postpartum period in subjects who suffered preeclampsia. The aim of this study was to (a) characterise energy intake and expenditure six months following normotensive and preeclamptic pregnancies, and (b) examine associations between energy balance, body composition, insulin resistance measures (HOMA-IR), and clinical characteristics.A cross-sectional study six months following normotensive (n=75) and preeclamptic (n=22) pregnancies was performed. Metabolic measurements included: anthropometrics measures, body composition via bioelectrical impedance analysis, 24-hour energy expenditure via SenseWear Armbands, energy intake via a three-day food diary, and serum metabolic parameters.Six months following preeclampsia, women had a significantly higher weight (77.3±20.9kg versus 64.5±11.4kg, p=0.01), fat mass percentage (FM%) (40.7±7.4% versus 34.9±8.1%, p=0.004), and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR 2.2±1.5 versus 1.0±0.7, p=0.003), as well as reduced HDL levels (1.5±0.4 mmol/L versus 1.8±0.4 mmol/L, p=0.01) compared to normotensive women. Women post-preeclampsia had lower activity-related energy expenditure (p=0.02) but a decreased total energy intake (p=0.02), leading to a more negative energy balance compared to their normotensive counterparts (-1,942 kJ/24-hours versus -480 kJ/24-hours; p=0.02).Increases in insulin resistance and FM%, reduced HDL, and more sedentary lifestyles characterise the postpartum period following preeclamptic compared with normotensive pregnancies. Early post-preeclampsia interventions, such as lifestyle behaviour change, should be implemented and assessed to determine whether they reduce long-term cardiometabolic risk in women who experienced preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Sarah L McLennan, Amanda Henry, Lynne M Roberts, Sai S Siritharan, Melissa Ojurovic, Amanda Yao, Gregory K Davis, George Mangos, Franziska Pettit, Mark A Brown, Anthony J O'Sullivan