Health eHeart Community

a forum hosted by the Health eHeart Alliance

Pre-eclampsia and Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH)?


Hi folks, I’m a 49-year-old female diagnosed with left ventricular hypertrophy and shortness of breath 2 years ago. With a family history of hypercholesterolemia and heart attack (father @ age 54), I’ve tried to eat right and stay active. My siblings are similarly quite active but have the high cholesterol issue (but I do not), treated with diet and meds.

As a former 3-sport college athlete, I have been pretty active most of my life but always had trouble with extended running/aerobic activity. I continue to play volleyball and am a black belt in karate. Preeclampsia occurred with my second pregnancy, and then out of the blue 12 years later: LVH. My first cardiologist blamed high blood pressure for the LVH – except I don’t really have #s that high (except the preeclampsia). Maybe heart size (smallish heart in largish 5’ 10" body?) contributed? Second opinion from my new cardiologist ruled out HCM with genetic testing, though he found a weird ‘crypt’ in my left ventricle. (Bonus!?!)

Meds help slow down my heart rate, but more meds needed to counteract the substantial fatigue involved. Still forcing myself to keep regularly exercising, and my FitBit ChargeHR helps me keep my heart rate under 80% of my maximum per docs orders-- but compared to a MyZone chest-band heart-rate monitor the FitBit may be underestimating things when I’m exercising.

Just wondering how others have understood their development of heart issues, how you manage symptoms, and whether a preeclampsia-LVH/heart problem link is real.


I am an OB/Gyn and we have known for years that having Pre-eclampsia elevates the risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. Mostly this increase is in ischemic heart disease. I’m not sure specifically that Pre-eclampsia increases LVH alone. Pre-eclampsia does increase the risk of hypertension later in life and hypertension causes LVH.