Introduction. Maternal age for the first pregnancy is increasing and so, the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in pregnancy is also increasing. Heart disease is the main reason for maternal death during pregnancy in developed countries. Arterial stiffness is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and a predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The most widespread parameters for detecting subclinical atherosclerosis are augmentation index (AIx) and pulse wave velocity (PWV). The objective of this prospective study was to assess the differences between arterial function in pregnant vs. non-pregnant women of the same age, and its changes throughout the gestation period. Materials and Methods. Between 2010–2019, 887 patients were enrolled into 2 groups: pregnant (N1 = 471) and non-pregnant (N2 = 416). Data about their anthropometric characteristics, arterial function (for group 1 in all three trimesters and 6 weeks post-partum), smoking status and physical activity were collected. Results. There were statistically significant differences (p
< α, α = 0.05) between the two groups regarding the body mass index, brachial AIx, systolic, diastolic and central blood pressure, and pulse pressure values. In the first group, there was a decrease of both brachial AIx and PWV in the second and third trimester, followed by a post-partum increase; better outcomes were noticed in physically active women. Conclusions. Arterial function modifies during pregnancy and these alterations differ according to the trimester of gestation. Further research is needed to establish the cut-off values for this category. Pregnant women can have better outcomes through physical activity.
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