Publication Abstract

Authors: Parker DR, Lu B, Sands-Lincoln M, Kroenke CH, Lee CC, O'Sullivan M, Park HL, Parikh N, Schenken RS, Eaton CB

Title: Risk of cardiovascular disease among postmenopausal women with prior pregnancy loss: the women's health initiative.

Journal: Ann Fam Med 12(4):302-9

Date: 2014 Jul

Abstract: PURPOSE: Metabolic, hormonal, and hemostatic changes associated with pregnancy loss (stillbirth and miscarriage) may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adulthood. This study evaluated prospectively the association between a history of pregnancy loss and CVD in a cohort of postmenopausal women. METHODS: Postmenopausal women (77,701) were evaluated from 1993-1998. Information on baseline reproductive history, sociodemographic, and CVD risk factors were collected. The associations between 1 or 2 or more miscarriages and 1 or more stillbirths with occurrence of CVD were evaluated using multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: Among 77,701 women in the study sample, 23,538 (30.3%) reported a history of miscarriage; 1,670 (2.2%) reported a history of stillbirth; and 1,673 (2.2%) reported a history of both miscarriage and stillbirth. Multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (OR) for coronary heart disease (CHD) for 1 or more stillbirths was 1.27 (95% CI, 1.07-1.51) compared with no stillbirth; for women with a history of 1 miscarriage, the OR=1.19 (95% CI, 1.08-1.32); and for 2 or more miscarriages the OR=1.18 (95% CI, 1.04-1.34) compared with no miscarriage. For ischemic stroke, the multivariable odds ratio for stillbirths and miscarriages was not significant. CONCLUSIONS: Pregnancy loss was associated with CHD but not ischemic stroke. Women with a history of 1 or more stillbirths or 1 or more miscarriages appear to be at increased risk of future CVD and should be considered candidates for closer surveillance and/or early intervention; research is needed into better understanding the pathophysiologic mechanisms behind the increased risk of CVD associated with pregnancy loss.