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Maternal Cardiovascular Health in Pregnancy Tied to Offspring Cardiovascular Health

THURSDAY, March 4, 2021 -- Better maternal cardiovascular health (CVH) at 28 weeks of gestation is significantly associated with better offspring CVH at ages 10 to 14 years, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Amanda M. Perak, M.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues used data from the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Study (July 2000 to April 2006) and HAPO Follow-Up Study (February 2013 to December 2016) to examine associations between maternal gestational CVH (at 28 weeks of gestation) and offspring CVH (measured at ages 10 to 14 years). The analysis included 2,302 dyads.

The researchers found that 32.8 percent of pregnant mothers had all ideal metrics, while 6 percent had two or more poor metrics. The distribution of CVH categories among offspring varied by maternal CVH category. In an adjusted analysis, poorer maternal CVH categories were associated with higher relative risks for offspring to have one poor and two or more poor metrics versus all ideal maternal and offspring metrics. When further adjusting for an extended set of birth factors (e.g., preeclampsia), the significant associations remained (relative risk for association between two or more poor maternal metrics and two or more poor offspring metrics, 6.23).

"Knowledge of maternal gestational CVH level may have clinical utility to identify newborns at higher risk for poor CVH by early adolescence, even beyond other measures available at birth," the authors write.

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