Sumary of Study shows strong relationship between women’s heart health and pregnancy outcomes:
- A study of more than 18 million pregnancies has shown a strong and graded relationship between women’s heart health and pregnancy outcomes.
- The researchers examined the presence of four risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women prior to pregnancy: unhealthy body weight, smoking, hypertension and diabetes.
- The likelihood of key pregnancy complications – maternal intensive care unit (ICU) admission, preterm birth, low birthweight and foetal death – rose incrementally with the number of pre-pregnancy cardiovascular risk factors.
- Individual cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity and hypertension, present before pregnancy have been associated with poor outcomes for both mother and baby.
- Our study now shows a dose-dependent relationship between the number of risk factors and several complications.
- These data underscore that improving overall heart health before pregnancy needs to be a priority.
- ” Dr. Sadiya Khan, Study Author, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, US The study was a cross-sectional analysis of maternal and foetal data from the US National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), which collects information on all live births and foetal deaths after 20 weeks’ gestation.
- Individual-level data was pooled from births to women aged 15 to 44 years from 2014 to 2018. Information was collected on the presence or absence of four cardiovascular risk factors before pregnancy: body mass index (BMI;