Spontaneous Preterm Delivery Increases Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Pharmacy Times, June 2015 Women's Health, Volume 81, Issue 6

Many common Cardiovascular Disease risk factors, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and thrombosis, are often experienced by women after a spontaneous preterm delivery.

A recent study, the results of which were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, reviewed 10 previous studies that assessed the association between spontaneous preterm delivery and fatal or nonfatal ischemic heart disease, stroke, or overall cardiovascular disease (CVD). The research team found that among women who had a spontaneous preterm delivery (defined as delivery before 37 weeks), the risk of fatal and nonfatal ischemic heart disease increased by 38%, the risk of fatal and nonfatal stroke increased by 71%, and the risk of fatal and nonfatal CVD more than doubled.

The study authors noted that many common CVD risk factors, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and thrombosis, are often experienced by women after a spontaneous preterm delivery, suggesting that the mechanisms behind the development of other CVD risk factors may also be partially responsible for the association with spontaneous preterm delivery. The authors concluded that although there is insufficient evidence to include spontaneous preterm delivery as a CVD risk, a history of spontaneous preterm delivery may identify women who are at an increased risk of CVD.