Recurrent pregnancy loss: a risk factor for long-term maternal atherosclerotic morbidity? Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective We sought to investigate whether patients with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) have an increased risk for future maternal atherosclerotic morbidity. Study Design A population-based study compared the incidence of long-term atherosclerotic morbidity (renal and cardiovascular) in a cohort of women with and without a diagnosis of RPL. Patients had a mean follow-up duration of more than a decade. Women with known atherosclerotic disease were excluded from the study. Cardiovascular morbidity was divided into 4 categories according to severity and type including simple and complex cardiovascular events and invasive and noninvasive cardiac procedures. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to estimate cumulative incidence of cardiovascular and renal hospitalizations. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios for cardiovascular and renal morbidity. Results During the study period 99,285 patients were included; of these 6.7% (n = 6690) had a history of RPL. Patients with RPL had higher rates of renal and cardiovascular morbidity including cardiac invasive and noninvasive diagnostic procedures, simple as well as complex cardiovascular events, and hospitalizations due to cardiovascular causes. Using Kaplan-Meier survival curves, patients with a previous diagnosis of RPL had a significantly higher cumulative incidence of cardiovascular but not renal hospitalizations. Using a Cox proportional hazards model, adjusted for confounders such as preeclampsia, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and smoking, a history of RPL remained independently associated with cardiovascular hospitalizations (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.4–1.8; P = .001). Conclusion RPL is an independent risk factor for long-term maternal cardiovascular complications.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014