Memorial researchers link pregnancy loss with cardiovascular disease

Memorial researchers link pregnancy loss with cardiovascular disease

PAWTUCKET - The Annals of Family Medicine last week published an article detailing research showing that women with a history of pregnancy loss are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease later in adulthood than other women, based on work completed by physicians in the Center for Primary Care and Prevention at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.

The article "Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among Postmenopausal Women with Prior Pregnancy Loss: The Women's Health Initiative" stems from the analysis of data from the maternity experiences of a sample of 77,701 women, according to Donna Parker, director for community health and research with the CPCP.

Of those, 30.3 percent reported a history of miscarriage, 2.2 percent a history of stillbirth, and 2.2 percent a history of both.

Pregnancies ending in abortion were not researched, hospital personnel told The Breeze.

The researchers found no significant association of ischemic stroke and pregnancy loss, according to Parker. The association between pregnancy loss and coronary heart disease appeared to be independent of hypertension, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and white blood cell count.

"These findings contribute to the growing body of evidence that the metabolic, hormonal and hemostatic pathway alterations that are associated with a pregnancy loss may contribute to the development of coronary heart disease in adulthood," said Parker.

Women with a history of miscarriage or a single stillbirth should be closely monitored and receive early intervention from their primary care physician so risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity, smoking and diet can be closely monitored and controlled, according to a news release from the hospital.

In addition to Parker, Charles Eaton, director of The Center for Primary Care and Prevention and a professor of Family Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, was listed as an author on the article. Other authors included: Bing Lu, Megan Sands, Candyce Kroenke, Cathy Lee, Mary O'Sullivan, Hannah Park, Nisha Parikh, and Robert Schenken.

For more information on The Center for Primary Care and Prevention, visit .