Pregnancy complications linked to heightened heart disease risk in young adult offspring

May 24, 2017, British Medical Journal

Complications of pregnancy, such as high blood pressure and infections, are linked to a heightened risk of early coronary heart disease in the young adult offspring, finds research published in the online journal Heart Asia.

The findings may be particularly relevant for developing nations, where the population is in transition and new cases of both pregnancy complications and are high, suggest the researchers.

More than 600 million people live in South East Asia, most of whom are under the age of 65. But rates of premature deaths attributable to non-communicable diseases are high, with one in three occurring before the age of 60.

To find out if complications of pregnancy might be associated with the risk of early , the researchers compared 153 patients with , which includes attack and angina, with the same number of healthy people matched for age and sex.

The heart patients had been diagnosed before the age of 55 (average age 47), and admitted to one cardiac centre in eastern Indonesia.

Detailed information was collected from both groups on background social and economic factors, current lifestyle, , and parents' history of heart disease, and this was combined with the results of a physical examination and relevant lab tests.

Maternal medical history included complications of pregnancy—specifically, ; premature birth; and any respiratory, gut, genitourinary, malarial/dengue fever, measles, chickenpox and unspecified infections which had lasted for at least three days and/or had required admission to hospital.

Patients with premature heart disease were more likely to have relevant risk factors than their healthy counterparts. These included high blood pressure and/or diabetes, eating an unhealthy diet, and smoking.

But their mothers were more likely to have experienced : 30 of their mothers (just under one in five of the whole group) had done so compared with 11 (just over 7%) in the healthy group.

When all the data were analysed, those whose mothers had experienced a complication of pregnancy were almost three times as likely to develop early coronary artery heart disease as those whose mothers had had a problem-free pregnancy.

The findings held true, irrespective of potentially influential , such as lifestyle and unfavourable lab test results.

This is an observational study so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. Nevertheless, the researchers suggest that maternal ill health during pregnancy might compromise fetal health by disrupting normal physiological processes, potentially leaving the developing baby vulnerable to subsequent heart disease.

And they say their findings point to the need to ensure optimal health and nutrition of a mum-to-be throughout her pregnancy as this might help stave off or curb the risk of early heart disease in her children. This includes prompt and appropriate treatment of any illness and preventive healthcare, such as vaccination, they say.

Explore further: Piling on the pregnancy pounds does no harm to baby in the long-term

More information: Pregnancy-related conditions and premature coronary heart disease in adult offspring, DOI: 10.1136/heartasia-2017-010896

Related Stories

Piling on the pregnancy pounds does no harm to baby in the long-term

January 18, 2017
A study from the University of Aberdeen has found that mothers' weight gain in pregnancy is not linked to increased risk of premature death in their adult children.

Pre-pregnancy heart abnormalities may predict recurrent preeclampsia risk

February 22, 2016
Women who had pregnancy-related high blood pressure multiple times had recognizable heart abnormalities between pregnancies that could help predict their risk for heart and blood vessel disease during subsequent pregnancies ...

Identifying early markers of cardiac dysfunction in pregnancy

January 23, 2017
In a study to be presented Friday, Jan. 27, in the oral concurrent session, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, researchers with the Maternal and Child Health Research Center ...

Gallstone disease may increase heart disease risk

August 18, 2016
A history of gallstone disease may increase your risk of coronary heart disease, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Pregnant women with hypertension and their siblings face increased risk of heart disease

August 27, 2015
High blood pressure during pregnancy is a risk factor for future hypertension and cardiovascular disease, but it's not clear if this increased risk is because these women are more likely to have a family history of heart ...

High blood pressure during pregnancy may signal later heart disease risk

February 11, 2013
even once or twice during routine medical care—can signal substantially higher risks of heart and kidney disease and diabetes, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Recommended for you

Study of two tribes sheds light on role of Western-influenced diet in blood pressure

November 14, 2018
A South American tribe living in near-total isolation with no Western dietary influences showed no increase in average blood pressure from age one to age 60, according to a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg ...

Heart failure patients shouldn't stop meds even if condition improves: study

November 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—There's bad news for heart failure patients with dilated cardiomyopathy who'd like to stop taking their meds.

Bypass beats stents for diabetics with heart trouble: study

November 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—People with both diabetes and multiple clogged heart arteries live longer if they undergo bypass surgery rather than have their blood vessels reopened with stents, according to follow-up results from a landmark ...

Kawasaki disease: One disease, multiple triggers

November 12, 2018
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and international collaborators have evidence that Kawasaki Disease (KD) does not have a single cause. By studying ...

New treatment significantly reduces cardiovascular events when combined with statins

November 12, 2018
Statins are the most commonly used treatment for cardiovascular disease. Despite reducing certain risk factors, if triglyceride levels remain high with use of statins, there is still a significant risk for heart attack, stroke ...

Study: How vitamin D and fish oil affect risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer

November 12, 2018
For years, it's remained an open question: What effects do dietary supplements such as high doses of vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil have on the risk of diseases such as heart attack, stroke and cancer? ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.