Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rate of stroke increasing among women during, soon after pregnancy

Date:
July 29, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Researchers report a large increase in the number of women having strokes while pregnant and in the three months after childbirth. The overall rate of pregnancy-related stroke went up 54 percent between 1994-95 and 2006-07. The increase is due to women having more risk factors, including high blood pressure and obesity.

The stroke rate for pregnant women and those who recently gave birth increased alarmingly over the past dozen years, according to research reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Related Articles


Researchers gathered data from a large national database of 5 to 8 million discharges from 1,000 hospitals and compared the rates of strokes from 1994-95 to 2006-07 in women who were pregnant, delivering a baby and who had recently had a baby.

Pregnancy-related stroke hospitalizations increased 54 percent, from 4,085 in 1994-95 to 6,293 in 2006-07.

"I am surprised at the magnitude of the increase, which is substantial," said Elena V. Kuklina, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and senior service fellow and epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. "Our results indicate an urgent need to take a closer look.

Stroke is such a debilitating condition. We need to put more effort into prevention.

"When you're relatively healthy, your stroke risk is not that high," Kuklina said. "Now more and more women entering pregnancy already have some type of risk factor for stroke, such as obesity, chronic hypertension, diabetes or congenital heart disease. Since pregnancy by itself is a risk factor, if you have one of these other stroke risk factors, it doubles the risk."

For expectant mothers, the rate of stroke hospitalizations rose 47 percent. In pregnant women and in women who had a baby in the last 12 weeks (considered the postpartum period), the stroke rate rose 83 percent. However, the rate remained the same for stroke hospitalizations that occurred during the time immediately surrounding childbirth.

Pregnant and post partum women ages 25 to 34 were hospitalized for stroke more often than those who were younger or older.

Furthermore, high blood pressure was more prevalent in pregnant women who were hospitalized because of stroke.

In 1994-95, among pregnant women with stroke, researchers found high blood pressure in:

  • 11.3 percent of the pregnant women prior to birth;
  • 23.4 percent of those at or near delivery; and
  • 27.8 percent of those within 12 weeks of delivery.

In 2006-07, they discovered high blood pressure among stroke patients in:

  • 17 percent of those pregnant;
  • 28.5 percent of those at or near delivery; and
  • 40.9 percent of women in the postpartum period.

It's best for women to enter pregnancy with ideal cardiovascular health -- without additional risk factors, Kuklina said. Next, she suggests developing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary plan that gives doctors and patients guidelines for appropriate monitoring and care before, during and after childbirth.

A major problem is that pregnant women typically aren't included in clinical trials because most drugs pose potential harm to the fetus.

Therefore, doctors don't have enough guidance on which medications are best for pregnant women who have an increased risk for stroke.

"We need to do more research on pregnant women specifically," said Kuklina, who found only 11 cases of pregnancy-related stroke in her review of previously published literature.

Co-authors are: Xin Tong, M.P.H.; Pooja Bansil, M.P.H.; Mary G. George, M.D., M.S.P.H.; and William M. Callaghan, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. V. Kuklina, X. Tong, P. Bansil, M. G. George, W. M. Callaghan. Trends in Pregnancy Hospitalizations That Included a Stroke in the United States From 1994 to 2007: Reasons for Concern? Stroke, 2011; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.610592

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Rate of stroke increasing among women during, soon after pregnancy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728162624.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, July 29). Rate of stroke increasing among women during, soon after pregnancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728162624.htm
American Heart Association. "Rate of stroke increasing among women during, soon after pregnancy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728162624.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins