None of the women in the study had high blood pressure before getting pregnant. An estimated 2 percent to 8 percent of all pregnancies globally and about 3.4 percent in the United States result in preeclampsia, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Colussi said more research is needed to confirm the results and to figure out why the heart changes are more likely to occur. But for now, he said, women with preeclampsia should be screened for cardiovascular risk factors and prevention strategies should be implemented as soon as possible.

“We’ve shown that women with early-onset preeclampsia might be at even greater risk, suggesting preventive interventions, such as using medications that act on left ventricular remodeling,” he said.