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Prior Pregnancy Loss Associated with Increased Risk for CHD — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 21, 2014

Prior Pregnancy Loss Associated with Increased Risk for CHD

By Kelly Young

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

A history of miscarriage or stillbirth is associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease in women, according to data from the Women's Health Initiative published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Of the 78,000 postmenopausal women who'd ever been pregnant, roughly a third reported a prior miscarriage or stillbirth.

During a mean follow-up of 8 years, women who had experienced a miscarriage were at 19% increased risk for coronary heart disease, compared with women without a history of miscarriage. Those who'd had a stillbirth were at 27% increased risk, compared with women who'd never had a stillbirth. There was no association between pregnancy loss and ischemic stroke.

The authors conclude that their findings suggest that women with previous pregnancy loss "should be considered candidates for closer surveillance and/or early intervention by their primary care physician so that risk factors can be carefully monitored and controlled (including monitoring of CVD risk factors — diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity, smoking, and diet)."

Reader Comments (1)

Nicole Hainley, FNP-BC, RN, CEN Other Healthcare Professional, Emergency Medicine

I think it would be nice to include in the summary the possible association between undiagnosed coagulopathies (such as MTHFR, PAI, etc) that might bridge the miscarriage-increased CHD risk link. It could help a clinician consider ordering the proper lab work on a woman with multiple pregnancy losses, help increase the odds of a successful pregnancy as well as initiate the proper health guidance for the pt.

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