Infant Heart Defects May Be Early Marker of Future CVD in Mothers

Mothers of infants with congenital heart defects are more likely to have cardiovascular hospitalization
Mothers of infants with congenital heart defects are more likely to have cardiovascular hospitalization

HealthDay News — Women whose infants have congenital heart defects have an increased risk of cardiovascular hospitalization later in life, according to a study published online April 2 in Circulation.

Nathalie Auger, MD, from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, and colleagues used a cohort of 1,084,251 women who had delivered infants between 1989 and 2013 in Quebec in order to identify women whose infants had critical, noncritical, or no heart defects. These women were tracked for up to 25 years past pregnancy for hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease. 

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The researchers found that women whose infants had heart defects had a higher overall incidence of cardiovascular hospitalization. There were 3.38 cardiovascular hospitalizations per 1,000 person-years for mothers with infants with critical defects, 3.19 for mothers of infants with noncritical defects, and 2.42 for mothers of infants with no heart defects. The hazard ratio for any cardiovascular hospitalization was 1.43 among women whose infants had critical defects and 1.24 for women whose infants had noncritical defects versus women with infants with no defects. For mothers of infants with congenital heart defects, the risks of specific causes of cardiovascular hospitalization, including myocardial infarction, heart failure, and other atherosclerotic disorders, were also greater versus women with infants with no defects.

"Congenital heart defects in offspring may be an early marker of predisposition to cardiovascular disease," the authors write.

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