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Miscarriages raise heart attack risk

Women who experience spontaneous pregnancy loss are at a substantially higher risk of heart attack later in life, and should make suitable lifestyle modifications to prevent it.

Miscarriages raise heart attack risk

Women who suffer recurrent miscarriages have a high risk of heart attack later in life.

To examine whether pregnancy loss is associated with a higher risk of heart attack, researchers analysed data from 11,518 women in America who had been pregnant at least once and 25 percent had experienced at least one detectable miscarriage, 18 percent had had at least one abortion and 2 percent had experienced a stillbirth.

Over a follow-up of about 10 years, 82 of the women had a heart attack and 112 had a stroke. There was no significant association between any type of pregnancy loss and stroke. Each miscarriage increased heart attack risk by 40 percent, and having more than two miscarriages increased the risk by more than fourfold. Women who had more than three miscarriages had a nine-fold higher risk. It was also found that having at least one stillbirth raised the risk of heart attack 3.5 times.

The degree of risk associated with recurrent miscarriage decreased when the researchers factored in major heart attack factors such as smoking, weight and alcohol consumption, but the risk was still five times higher than normal.

The results suggest that women who experience spontaneous pregnancy loss are at a substantially higher risk of heart attack later in life, and should make suitable lifestyle modifications to prevent it.
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