Heart defects in infant may predict heart problems in mother later in life
Women who give birth to infants with congenital heart defects may have an increased risk of cardiovascular hospitalizations later in life, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.
• Women who give birth to infants with congenital heart defects may be at increased risk of heart problems including heart attack and heart failure later in life.
The study of more than one million women is the first to show congenital heart defects in newborns may be a marker for an increased risk of their mothers developing heart problems, including heart attack and heart failure, years after pregnancy.
Researchers analyzed data on women who delivered infants and who had critical, noncritical or no heart defects. They tracked the women up to 25 years after pregnancy for hospitalizations related to cardiovascular disease including heart attack, heart failure, atherosclerotic disorders and heart transplants.
Compared to mothers of infants without congenital heart defects, researchers found:
• 43% higher risk of any cardiovascular hospitalization in women whose offspring had critical heart defects; and
• 24% higher risk of any cardiovascular hospitalization in women whose infants had noncritical defects.
Researchers believe the study provides an opportunity for these mothers to benefit from early prevention strategies and counseling to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death in women.
Healthcare providers, like obstetricians, who treat and follow mothers in the early stages of dealing with children who have heart defects can help women understand and minimize their risk.
Heart doctors in attur