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New Study Links Miscarriage and Stillbirth to an Increased Risk of Atherosclerosis

red broken heart, closeup on blueA new study published online in the journal Circulation shows a strong link between miscarriage or stillbirth and an increased risk of heart-health issues including myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction, and renovascular hypertension.

Researchers in Denmark analysed more than one million women who became pregnant between 1977 and 2008 and lead researcher Dr Mattis Flyvholm Ranthe from the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark says, “Overall, stillbirths were associated with greater risks than miscarriages, although in women with a history of four or more miscarriages, the rate increases were similar.”

When it came to miscarriages, it increased the rate of myocardial infarction by 13% and cerebrovascular infarction by 16%. The risk of renal hypertension was increased 20% among those who had a miscarriage compared to women who did not experience miscarriage.

These rates were even higher for women who had a previous stillbirth with myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular infarction being 169% and 74%, respectively  The risk for renal hypertension for women who have experienced stillbirth rose to 142%.

The study also showed that the more miscarriages a woman experiences, the higher her risk rate goes up with an increase of 9% for each miscarriage for myocardial infarction, 13% for cerebrovascular infarction, and 19% for renal hypertension. The study concludes with the findings of three different organs showing atherosclerosis events, it’s not an organ-specific event. The researches add that at this time, it’s unknown if preeclampsia is involved in these findings.

Study: Ranthe MF, Andersen EA, Wohlfarht J, et al. Pregnancy loss and later risk of atherosclerotic disease. Circulation 2013; DOI:10.1161/circulationaha.112.000285

Photo credit: istockphoto; Source: TheHeart.org 

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