Reproductive Factors Linked to Cardiovascular Disease in Women

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

For composite CVD, twofold link seen for preeclampsia, stillbirth, preterm birth; risk lower with longer breastfeeding

FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Reproductive factors are associated with cardiovascular disease among women, according to an umbrella review published online Oct. 7 in The BMJ.

Kelvin Okoth, M.P.H., from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted an umbrella review to examine the correlation between reproductive factors in women of reproductive age and their subsequent risk for cardiovascular disease. Data were included for 32 reviews assessing multiple risk factors during an average follow-up of seven to 10 years.

The researchers found that for composite cardiovascular disease, associations were twofold for preeclampsia, stillbirth, and preterm birth; 1.5- to 1.9-fold for gestational hypertension, placental abruption, gestational diabetes, and premature ovarian insufficiency; and less than 1.5-fold for early menarche, polycystic ovary syndrome, ever parity, and early menopause. A reduced risk for cardiovascular disease was seen in association with longer length of breastfeeding. For ischemic heart disease, the associations were twofold or greater for preeclampsia, recurrent preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and preterm birth; 1.5- to 1.9-fold for current use of combined oral contraceptives, recurrent miscarriage, premature ovarian insufficiency, and early menopause; and less than 1.5-fold for miscarriage, polycystic ovary syndrome, and menopausal symptoms. For heart failure, the association was fourfold for preeclampsia.

“A large proportion of unexplained risk of cardiovascular disease in women might be attributable to reproductive risk factors but the exact magnitude of the effect is unclear,” the authors write.

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