BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6650 (Published 19 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6650

The cardiovascular impairment seen with pre-eclampsia does not recover with delivery, but persists postpartum. A prospective case control study in Hypertension found that one year after delivery, 14% of women who developed pre-eclampsia after 37 weeks of pregnancy met the criteria for stage B asymptomatic heart failure, as defined by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiologists, compared with 8% of controls (2011;58:709-15, doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.176537). The proportion rose to 56% in women developing pre-eclampsia before 37 weeks; this group also showed impaired myocardial contractility, with 40% developing essential hypertension within two years.

Researchers have reconstructed a draft sequence of the Yersinia pestis genome using DNA extracted from ancient pathology specimens from four people who died during the Black Death (1347-51) and who were buried in the East Smithfield cemetery in London. Analyses indicate that the Black Death was the main event responsible for introducing worldwide dissemination of currently circulating strains of Y pestis. Comparison with modern strain genomes suggests that factors such as the environment, vector dynamics, and …

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