To evaluate whether preeclampsia is associated with risk of maternal retinal disease in the decades after pregnancy.
We carried out a longitudinal cohort study of 1,108,541 women who delivered neonates in any hospital in Quebec, Canada, between 1989 and 2013. We tracked women for later hospitalizations until March 31, 2014. Preeclampsia was measured at delivery categorized by severity (mild or severe) and onset (before or at 34 weeks or more of gestation). Main outcomes were hospitalizations and inpatient procedures for retinal detachment, retinopathy, or other retinal disorders. We used Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) comparing preeclampsia with no preeclampsia adjusting for diabetes and hypertension.
Compared with no preeclampsia, women with preeclampsia had a higher incidence of hospitalization for retinal detachment (52.9 compared with 23.9/10,000), retinopathy (60.5 compared with 8.0/10,000), and other retinal disorders (13.3 compared with 7.3/10,000). Preeclampsia was most strongly associated with traction detachments (HR 2.39, 95% CI 1.52–3.74), retinal breaks (HR 2.48, 95% CI 1.40–4.41), and diabetic retinopathy (HR 4.13, 95% CI 3.39–5.04). Severe and early-onset preeclampsia was associated with even higher risk compared with mild or late-onset preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia, particularly severe or early-onset preeclampsia, is associated with an increased risk of maternal retinal disease in the decades after pregnancy.