Excessive gestational weight gain increases long-term maternal cardiovascular risk
Pregnant women with excessive gestational weight gain had a higher cardiovascular risk profile in midlife, according to a new study published in the Journal of Women's Health.
Franya Hutchins, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and coauthors used two main measures to determine a woman's cardiovascular disease risk: the atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk score and a measure of the C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory biomarker. The investigators measured these variables at baseline and at 10 follow-up visits, for a total of 20 years of follow-up.
Having a history of excessive gestational weight gain was associated with a 29.6% higher ASCVD risk score at baseline. "In the model including confounders and midlife abdominal obesity, excessive gestational weight gain remained associated with a 9.1% higher ASCVD score," stated the investigators. Excessive gestational weight gain was associated with an 89.2% higher baseline CRP level. With the addition of cofounders and midlife abdominal obesity, excessive gestational weight gain remained associated with a 31.5% higher mean CRP.
"In this group of women, a history of excessive gestational weight gain was associated with a small but statistically significant higher ASCVD score and a moderate, statistically significant higher mean CRP level into midlife," says Journal of Women's Health Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA.