Association of activin A and postpartum blood pressure in peripartum cardiomyopathy

for the IPAC Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Activin A has been implicated in the pathogenesis of patients with chronic hypertension and heart failure as well as patients with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP). Whether activin A correlates with blood pressure in patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) and HDP history has not previously been explored. Methods and results: 82 women with PPCM w/ and w/out HDP or hypertension history were selected for analysis from the Investigations in Pregnancy Associated Cardiomyopathy (IPAC) study. Serum biomarkers and blood pressure were assessed at the time of enrollment (median postpartum day 24). Levels of both sFlt-1 (SBP: r 0.47, p = 0.008; DBP: r 0.57, p < 0.001) and activin A (SBP: r 0.59, p < 0.001; DBP: r 0.68, p < 0.001) were noted to significantly correlate with blood pressure in patients with a history of HDP who went on to develop PPCM, but not in patients with chronic hypertension or no hypertensive history. The strongest correlation was between activin A levels and postpartum diastolic blood pressure for the subset with preeclampsia (DBP: r 0.82, p < 0.001). This remained significant in multivariable linear regression analysis (DBP: β = 0.011, p = 0.015). Conclusion: In patients with PPCM, activin A and sFlt-1 levels had direct correlations with both systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressures (DBP), but only in participants with history of HDP. This correlation was more evident for activin A and strongest with a history of preeclampsia. Our findings suggest that activin A may play an important role in blood pressure modulation in women with HDP who subsequently develop PPCM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalPregnancy Hypertension
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Activin A
  • Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy
  • Peripartum Cardiomyopathy


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