[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A history of preeclampsia is a risk factor for the future development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The objective of this study was to assess, in women with prior preeclampsia, the level of knowledge regarding the link between preeclampsia and CVD, motivators for and barriers to lifestyle change and interest in a lifestyle modification program to decrease CVD risk following a pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia.
Twenty women with a history of preeclampsia participated in 5 phone-based focus groups. Focus groups were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Qualitative content analysis was used to identify common themes across focus groups. Consensus was reached on a representative set of themes describing the data.
Women with prior preeclampsia were in general unaware of the link between preeclampsia and future CVD but eager to learn about this link and motivated to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Major perceived barriers to lifestyle change were lack of time, cost of healthy foods and family responsibilities. Perceived facilitators included knowledge of the link between preeclampsia and CVD, a desire to stay healthy, and creating a healthy home for their children. Women with prior preeclampsia were interested in the idea of a web-based program focused on lifestyle strategies to decrease CVD risk in women.
Women with prior preeclampsia were eager to learn about the link between preeclampsia and CVD and to take steps to reduce CVD risk. A web-based program to help women with prior preeclampsia adopt a healthy lifestyle may be an appropriate strategy for this population.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 12/2013; 13(1):240. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: South Asians have increased visceral adiposity, insulin resistance and greater prevalence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease when compared to Caucasians of European origin. Surrogate markers of insulin resistance such as the composite insulin sensitivity (Matsuda) index correlate with glucose clamps in other populations, but ethnicity can affect these indices. We compared the Matsuda index, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR), quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI), and triglyceride/HDL ratio to insulin sensitivity derived from euglycemic clamps in healthy South Asians and Caucasians.
Twenty-three healthy South Asians and 18 Caucasians matched for age (mean±SE=33.6±2.1 vs. 36.0±3.0years) and BMI (25.2±1.1 vs. 24.6±0.9kg/m(2)) underwent 75g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), 2-h euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp (240 pmol·m(-2)·min(-1)), fasting lipid profile, and anthropometric measures.
South Asians had higher fasting insulin (41±5 vs. 21±2 pmol/l; p=0.002) and lower HDL-C (1.25±0.06 vs. 1.56±0.10mmol/l; p=0.010), but similar fasting glucose (5.0±0.1 vs. 4.9±0.1mmol/l) levels vs. Caucasians. South Asians had significantly decreased measures of insulin sensitivity derived from both the euglycemic clamp (24.9±1.3 vs. 41.4±1.9μmol·kg(-1)·min(-1); p<0.0001) and OGTT (Matsuda Index 7.60±0.99 vs. 13.60±1.79; p=0.004). The Matsuda index correlated highly with clamp insulin sensitivity in South Asians (r=0.50; p=0.014) and Caucasians (r=0.47; p=0.046). HOMA-IR, QUICKI, and triglyceride/HDL ratio correlated with clamp values in South Asians, but not in Caucasians.
In South Asians, Matsuda index, HOMA-IR, QUICKI, and triglyceride/HDL ratio offer simple and valid surrogate measures of insulin sensitivity that can be employed in larger clinical or epidemiological studies in this ethnic group.
Metabolism: clinical and experimental 07/2013; · 3.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: First trimester Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein A (PAPP-A) levels, routinely measured for aneuploidy screening, may predict development of preeclampsia. This study tests the hypothesis that first trimester PAPP-A levels correlate with soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) levels, an angiogenic marker associated with preeclampsia, throughout pregnancy. METHODS: sFlt-1 levels were measured longitudinally in 427 women with singleton pregnancies in all three trimesters. First trimester PAPP-A and PAPP-A Multiples of Median (MOM) were measured. Student's T and Wilcoxon tests compared preeclamptic and normal pregnancies. A linear mixed model assessed the relationship between log PAPP-A and serial log sFlt-1 levels. RESULTS: PAPP-A and PAPP-A MOM levels were significantly lower in preeclamptic (n = 19), versus normal pregnancies (p = 0.02). Although mean third trimester sFlt-1 levels were significantly higher in preeclampsia (p = 0.002), first trimester sFlt-1 levels were lower in women who developed preeclampsia, compared with normal pregnancies (p = 0.03). PAPP-A levels correlated significantly with serial sFlt-1 levels. Importantly, low first trimester PAPP-A MOM predicted decreased odds of normal pregnancy (OR 0.2, p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Low first trimester PAPP-A levels suggests increased future risk of preeclampsia and correlate with serial sFlt-1 levels throughout pregnancy. Furthermore, low first trimester PAPP-A status significantly predicted decreased odds of normal pregnancy.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 04/2013; 13(1):85. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: Low perceived risk for type 2 diabetes (T2DM) may be a barrier to lifestyle change in women with recent gestational diabetes (GDM). We assessed perceived risk for T2DM at delivery and postpartum. Methods: We used a validated diabetes risk perception instrument to survey women with GDM at delivery and postpartum. We compared women with low perceived risk for T2DM at delivery to those with high perceived risk. Results: The majority (N=43 of 70, 61%) perceived high risk at delivery. Women who perceived low risk were younger (30.7 + 6.3 versus 35.0 + 4.5 years, p=0.003) than women who perceived high risk. Although knowledge of risk factors for T2DM was poor (mean 6.0 + 1.9, of 11 points), 95% correctly identified GDM as a risk factor. Perceived risk was maintained in most (N=51 of 58, 88%) who returned for their postpartum visit. Low perceived risk was not associated with loss to follow up, however correct identification of GDM as a risk factor was protective (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.005, 0.56). Conclusions: Risk perception is accurate in most women with GDM at delivery and postpartum. Further study is needed to translate perceived risk into preventive behaviors in women with recent GDM.
The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians 11/2012; · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have a substantial risk of subsequently developing type 2 diabetes. This risk may be mitigated by engaging in healthy eating, physical activity, and weight loss when indicated. Since postpartum depressive symptoms may impair a woman's ability to engage in lifestyle changes, we sought to identify factors associated with depressive symptoms in the early postpartum period among women with recent GDM. The participants are part of the baseline cohort of the TEAM GDM (Taking Early Action for Mothers with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) study, a one-year randomized trial of a lifestyle intervention program for women with a recent history of GDM, conducted in Boston, Massachusetts between June 2010 and September 2012. We administered the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 4-15 weeks postpartum to women whose most recent pregnancy was complicated by GDM (confirmed by laboratory data or medical record review). An EPDS score ≥9 indicated depressive symptoms. We measured height and thyroid stimulating hormone, and administered a questionnaire to collect demographic data and information about breastfeeding and sleep. We calculated body mass index (BMI) using self-reported pre-pregnancy weight and measured height. We reviewed medical records to obtain data about medical history, including history of depression, mode of delivery, and insulin use during pregnancy. We conducted bivariable analyses to identify correlates of postpartum depressive symptoms, and then modeled the odds of postpartum depressive symptoms using multivariable logistic regression. Our study included 71 women (mean age 33 years ± 5; 59 % White, 28 % African-American, 13 % Asian, with 21 % identifying as Hispanic; mean pre-pregnancy BMI 30 kg/m(2) ± 6). Thirty-four percent of the women scored ≥9 on the EPDS at the postpartum visit. In the best fit model, factors associated with depressive symptoms at 6 weeks postpartum included cesarean delivery (aOR 4.32, 95 % CI 1.46, 13.99) and gestational weight gain (aOR 1.21 [1.02, 1.46], for each additional 5 lbs gained). Use of insulin during pregnancy, breastfeeding, personal history of depression, and lack of a partner were not retained in the model. Identifying factors associated with postpartum depression in women with GDM is important since depression may interfere with lifestyle change efforts in the postpartum period. In this study, cesarean delivery and greater gestational weight gain were correlated with postpartum depressive symptoms among women with recent GDM (Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01158131).
Maternal and Child Health Journal 11/2012; · 2.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:Identifying reproductive risk factors in women offers a life course approach to obesity and cardiovascular disease prevention. The association of female reproductive factors with measures of regional body fat distribution has not been comprehensively studied.Methods:We examined the association of female reproductive factors (age at menarche, parity, age at natural menopause, menopausal status) in association with body composition data from women who participated in the Offspring and the Third Generation Framingham Heart Study cohorts. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and sc adipose tissue (SAT) were measured volumetrically by multidetector computerized tomography. We modeled the relationship between each fat depot and female reproductive factors after adjusting for various factors such as age, smoking status, alcohol intake, physical activity index, hormone replacement therapy, and menopausal status.Results:Earlier age at menarche was associated with increased body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), VAT, and SAT (P < 0.0001). This association of earlier menarche with adiposity measures was attenuated after adjusting for BMI (all P > 0.70). We observed no association between parity and all parameters of adiposity measurements (all P > 0.24). Similarly, age at natural menopause was not associated with measures of body composition. Despite higher mean BMI among the post- (BMI 27.3 kg/m(2)) compared with the premenopausal women (BMI 25.9 kg/m(2)) in an age-matched analysis, mean VAT was not different between the two groups (P = 0.30).Conclusions:Earlier menarche is associated with overall obesity but not with VAT or SAT after accounting for measures of generalized adiposity. Parity and menopausal age were not associated with adiposity measures. Although postmenopausal women had increased BMI, VAT, and SAT, the association was predominantly due to age.
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 10/2012; · 6.50 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effective mentoring is an important component of academic success. Few programs exist to both improve the effectiveness of established mentors and cultivate a multispecialty mentoring community. In 2008, in response to a faculty survey on mentoring, leaders at Brigham and Women's Hospital developed the Faculty Mentoring Leadership Program as a peer learning experience for midcareer and senior faculty physician and scientist mentors to enhance their skills and leadership in mentoring and create a supportive community of mentors. A planning group representing key administrative, educational, clinical, and research mentorship constituencies designed the nine-month course.Participants met monthly for an hour and a half during lunchtime. Two cofacilitators engaged the diverse group of 16 participants in interactive discussions about cases based on the participants' experiences. While the cofacilitators discussed with the participants the dyadic mentor-mentee relationship, they specifically emphasized the value of engaging multiple mentors and establishing mentoring networks. In response to postsession and postcourse (both immediately and after six months) self-assessments, participants reported substantive gains in their mentoring confidence and effectiveness, experienced a renewed sense of enthusiasm for mentoring, and took initial steps to build a diverse network of mentoring relationships.In this article, the authors describe the rationale, design, implementation, assessment, and ongoing impact of this innovative faculty mentoring leadership program. They also share lessons learned for other institutions that are contemplating developing a similar faculty mentoring program.
Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 10/2012; · 2.34 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Although women comprise an increasing proportion of US medical school faculty, they are underrepresented at higher ranks. Lack of effective mentoring may contribute to this disparity. We examined the role of academic rank, research focus, parenting, and part-time work on mentoring importance, needs, and gaps. Methods: In 2009, women faculty members of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine were invited by e-mail to participate in a 28-item structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and adjusted logistic regressions were used to identify relevant themes. Results: Of the 1179 women faculty who responded, 54% had a mentor, and 72% without a mentor desired mentoring. The most important mentor characteristic identified was availability. Respondents endorsed most mentoring areas as important (range 51%-99%); 52% of respondents identified mentoring gaps (area important and unmet) in developing and achieving career goals and negotiation skills. Interest in mentorship for skills needed for advancement (research and lecturing skills and getting national recognition) was significantly associated with lower rank. Assistant professors were most likely to identify mentoring related to writing and publishing articles, whereas associate professors identified program development/strategic planning as important. Faculty who are parents identified gaps in finding collaborators and balancing work and family life. Conclusions: This survey identified a desire for both comprehensive and targeted mentoring to address gaps that varied by faculty rank, research focus, parenting, and work time status. Strategies to enhance mentoring should address career stages and include a structured framework for assessing mentoring gaps.
Journal of Women s Health 08/2012; · 1.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evaluation of: Kwasniewska M, Pikala M, Kaczmarczyk-Chalas K et al. Smoking status, the menopausal transition, and metabolic syndrome in women. Menopause 19, 194-201 (2012). This study was a cross-sectional analysis of 7462 randomly selected Polish women, aged 20-74 years, who had completed the WOBASZ, a Polish National Multicenter Health Survey. Components of metabolic syndrome, including waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose, triglycerides, blood pressure and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were measured in addition to BMI. The authors assessed the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in pre- and postmenopausal women with respect to smoking status (current smoking, past smoking or never smoked). They determined that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 3.3-fold higher in postmenopausal women compared with premenopausal women and that past smoking was associated with higher odds of metabolic syndrome, regardless of menopausal status. Previous studies that have examined the risk of developing metabolic syndrome after smoking cessation did not assess menopausal status in women, and also used reported rather than measured anthropomorphic data. This study provides an additional perspective on the metabolic changes that may occur in women after smoking cessation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: In postmenopausal women, a relationship between luteinizing hormone (LH) and cortisol levels has been suggested. Furthermore, LH receptors in the adrenal gland have been shown to mediate adrenocorticotropic hormone-independent Cushing syndrome. In contrast, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) receptors have not been found in the adrenal gland. Our objective was to explore the relationship of LH with adrenal function in postmenopausal women, as assessed by 24-hour urinary free cortisol (UFC) and aldosterone excretion rate (AER). METHODS: Participants were studied at a single time point in the fasting state in the Clinical Research Center of Brigham and Women's Hospital. We studied 36 postmenopausal women in sodium balance to control for variation in endogenous levels of plasma renin activity and angiotensin II. Serum cortisol, aldosterone, LH, and FSH levels were measured, as were 24-hour UFC and AER. Correlations were performed by calculation of Pearson's correlation coefficient. RESULTS: Serum LH correlated significantly with log-transformed UFC (r = 0.43, P = 0.01) and inversely with log AER (r = -0.50, P = 0.002). We found no correlation of serum LH with serum cortisol or aldosterone, nor did we find correlation of FSH with these parameters. CONCLUSIONS: In postmenopausal women, serum LH levels correlate significantly with UFC (positively) and AER (negatively). LH stimulation may induce subtle shifts in adrenal function toward cortisol secretion.
Menopause (New York, N.Y.) 06/2012; · 3.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the epidemiology of hypertension in women of reproductive age.
Using NHANES from 1999-2008, we identified 5,521 women age 20-44 years old. Hypertension status was determined using blood pressure measurements and/or self-reported medication use.
The estimated prevalence of hypertension in women of reproductive age was 7.7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 6.9%-8.5%). The prevalence of anti-hypertensive pharmacologic therapy was 4.2% (95% CI 3.5%-4.9%). The prevalence of hypertension was relatively stable across the study period; the age and race adjusted odds of hypertension in 2007-2008 did not differ significantly from 1999-2000 (odds ratio 1.2, CI 0.8 to 1.7, p = 0.45). Significant independent risk factors associated with hypertension included older age, non-Hispanic black race (compared to non-Hispanic whites), diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and higher body mass index. The most commonly used antihypertensive medications included diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE), and beta blockers.
Hypertension occurs in about 8% of women of reproductive age. There are remarkable differences in the prevalence of hypertension between racial/ethnic groups. Obesity is a risk factor of particular importance in this population because it affects over 30% of young women in the U.S., is associated with more than 4 fold increased risk of hypertension, and is potentially modifiable.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e36171. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypertension is a common complication of pregnancy. Preeclampsia, in particular, is associated with substantial risk to both the mother and the fetus. Several risk factors have been recognized to predict risk for preeclampsia. However, at present no biomarkers have sufficient discriminatory ability to be useful in clinical practice, and no effective preventive strategies have yet been identified. Commonly used medications for the treatment of hypertension in pregnancy include methyldopa and labetalol. Blood pressure thresholds for initiating antihypertensive therapy are higher than outside of pregnancy. Women with prior preeclampsia are at increased risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease.
Endocrinology and metabolism clinics of North America 12/2011; 40(4):847-63. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the independent effect of gestational impaired glucose tolerance, defined as a single abnormal oral glucose tolerance test value, on metabolic dysfunction at 3 years postpartum.
We used multiple linear regression to measure associations between glucose testing during pregnancy and metabolic markers at 3 years postpartum in Project Viva, a prospective cohort study of maternal and infant health. We compared metabolic measures at 3 years postpartum among four groups: normal glucose challenge test (less than 140 mg/dL, n=461); abnormal glucose challenge test but normal glucose tolerance test (n=39); impaired glucose tolerance (a single abnormal glucose tolerance test value, n=21); and gestational diabetes mellitus (n=16).
Adjusting for age, race, parity, parental history of diabetes, and maternal body mass index at 3 years postpartum, we found women with gestational diabetes mellitus had lower adiponectin (11.2 ng/mL compared with 20.7 ng/mL) and higher homeostatic model assessments of insulin resistance (3.1 compared with 1.3) and waist circumference (91.3 cm compared with 86.2 cm) compared with women with impaired glucose tolerance or normal glucose tolerance. Women in both the impaired glucose tolerance and gestational diabetes mellitus groups had lower high-density lipoprotein (gestational diabetes mellitus 44.7 mg/dL; impaired glucose tolerance 45.4/dL compared with normal glucose tolerance 55.8 mg/dL) and higher triglycerides (gestational diabetes mellitus 136.1 mg/dL; impaired glucose tolerance 140.1 mg/dL compared with normal glucose tolerance 78.3) compared with women in the normal glucose tolerance group. We found the highest values for hemoglobin A1c (gestational diabetes mellitus 5.1%, impaired glucose tolerance 5.3%, normal glucose tolerance 5.1%) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (gestational diabetes mellitus 1.4 mg/dL, impaired glucose tolerance 2.2 mg/dL, normal glucose tolerance 1.0 mg/dL) among women with impaired glucose tolerance.
Gestational diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance during pregnancy are associated with persistent metabolic dysfunction at 3 years postpartum, independent of other clinical risk factors.
Obstetrics and Gynecology 11/2011; 118(5):1065-73. · 4.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypertension is a significant contributor to the risk for cardiovascular disease. The increased prevalence of hypertension in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in these women. Whether hypertension is associated with PCOS independent of obesity remains controversial. Nevertheless, detection and subsequent treatment of hypertension in this population should decrease the adverse sequelae from hypertensive cardiovascular disease. Treatment of risk factors inherent to PCOS, such as hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, and obesity, may minimize the risk not only for the development of hypertension but also for incident cardiovascular disease independent of hypertension.
Endocrinology and metabolism clinics of North America 06/2011; 40(2):433-49, ix-x. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Women who develop gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. Despite this "window of opportunity," few intervention studies have targeted postpartum women with a history of GDM. We sought perspectives of women with a history of GDM to identify a) barriers and facilitators to healthy lifestyle changes postpartum, and b) specific intervention approaches that would facilitate participation in a postpartum lifestyle intervention program.
We used mixed methods to gather data from women with a prior history of GDM, including focus groups and informant interviews. Analysis of focus groups relied on grounded theory and used open-coding to categorize data by themes, while frequency distributions were used for the informant interviews.
Of 38 women eligible to participate in focus groups, only ten women were able to accommodate their schedules to attend a focus group and 15 completed informant interviews by phone. We analyzed data from 25 women (mean age 35, mean pre-pregnancy BMI 28, 52% Caucasian, 20% African American, 12% Asian, 8% American Indian, 8% refused to specify). Themes from the focus groups included concern about developing type 2 diabetes, barriers to changing diet, and barriers to increasing physical activity. In one focus group, women expressed frustration about feeling judged by their physicians during their GDM pregnancy. Cited barriers to lifestyle change were identified from both methods, and included time and financial constraints, childcare duties, lack of motivation, fatigue, and obstacles at work. Informants suggested facilitators for lifestyle change, including nutrition education, accountability, exercise partners/groups, access to gyms with childcare, and home exercise equipment. All focus group and informant interview participants reported access to the internet, and the majority expressed interest in an intervention program delivered primarily via the internet that would include the opportunity to work with a lifestyle coach.
Time constraints were a major barrier. Our findings suggest that an internet-based lifestyle intervention program should be tested as a novel approach to prevent type 2 diabetes in postpartum women with a history of GDM.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 03/2011; 11:23. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Concentrations of 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D have been positively associated with dietary sodium and salt sensitivity (SS) of blood pressure (BP), and inversely with plasma renin activity (PRA). We investigated the association between PRA and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), the most clinically relevant vitamin D metabolite, and whether 25OHD associates with SS of BP in renin phenotypes of hypertension.
We performed cross-sectional analyses on 223 Caucasian subjects with hypertension maintained in high and low dietary sodium balance. Subjects were distinguished as having low-renin (LR) or normal-renin (NR) hypertension. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate adjusted relationships.
Increasing 25OHD concentrations were inversely associated with PRA (p < 0.05) on both salt diets. Furthermore, 25OHD was associated with SS of BP in LR hypertension (b = 0.62, p = 0.04), but not in NR hypertension (b = 0.06, p = 0.59). In an adjusted multivariable interaction model, renin status (LR vs. NR) was a significant effect modifier of the relationship between 25OHD and SS of BP (p = 0.04).
Our findings suggest that 25OHD is inversely associated with PRA and positively associated with SS of BP in LR hypertension subjects. These results extend and support prior evidence indicating an interaction between dietary sodium, the RAS, and vitamin D that influences BP in hypertension.
Journal of Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System 02/2011; 12(3):311-9. · 2.29 Impact Factor