Pre-eclampsia and the brainBMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4236 (Published 17 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4236
- Joel G Ray, professor1 2,
- Alison L Park, epidemiologist2
- 1Departments of Medicine, Health Policy Management and Evaluation, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
- Correspondence to: J G Ray
In a linked paper (doi:10.1136/bmj.k4109), Basit and colleagues investigated the risk of dementia in women with and without a history of pre-eclampsia.1 After a median follow-up of 21.1 years, they report a 3.5 times higher risk of vascular dementia (105 cases in total), a 1.5 times higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease (676 cases), and a 1.4 times higher risk of other or non-specific dementias (947 cases) among women with pre-eclampsia in at least one pregnancy. Risk of any dementia was higher for women with a history of recurrent pre-eclampsia (hazard ratio 2.8) than for women with pre-eclampsia in a single pregnancy (hazard ratio 1.4).
As the median age at the end of follow-up was just 49 years, and only 10% of women were over 64 years of age, relatively few participants developed dementia; however, the overall numbers were sufficient to generate significant associations …