Pregnancy complications and calculated cardiovascular risk in urban women: do we envisage an association?

Research paper by Prerna P Bhasin, Satwanti S Kapoor

Indexed on: 31 Aug '13Published on: 31 Aug '13Published in: Journal of Urban Health


Most researches related to pregnancy complications and future cardiovascular disease, and their risk factors have been equivocal. Existence and extent of these complications, as a contributing factor to CVD risks, with underlying mechanisms of these associations, still remain uncertain. Hence, the current study tends to examine associations between "complicated pregnancies" with obesity markers known to be coherent reflections of cardiovascular health in urban women. A cross-sectional sample of 631 Punjabi Khatri (mean age: 33 ± 5.58 years) urban women was studied for associations of pregnancy diabetes mellitus, hypertensive disorders, preterm delivery, and size for GA with calculated 10-year CVD risk (based on the Framingham score). A wide range of obesity markers (BMI, waist circumference (WC), WHR, and WHtR) were measured 3-8 years postpregnancy to determine its association with complications during pregnancy. The association with the calculated 10-year CVD risk (≥10 %) based on the Framingham prediction score was 3.01 OR (2.11-3.72 CI) for pregnancy DM, 4.52 (3.68-4.93 CI) for preeclampsia/gestational hypertension, 2.16 (2.01-2.79 CI) for size at GA (SGA and LGA), 2.25 (1.91-2.85 CI) for preterm births, and 2.48 (2.08-3.98 CI) for abnormal birth weight when compared with women without pregnancy diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia/gestational hypertension, appropriate gestational age, full-term babies, and normal birth weight, respectively, in completely adjusted models. Therefore, HDP, pregnancy diabetes mellitus, and pregnancy outcomes are all associated with an increased risk of CVD 10 years later. Pregnancy may provide an opportunity to identify women at increased risk of CVD relatively early in life.