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Miscarriages May Raise Heart Attack Risk

Bloomberg Businessweek,  Dec 1, 2010
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Women who suffer recurrent miscarriages have a greatly increased risk of heart attack later in life, finds a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 11,500 women who had been pregnant at least once and found that 25 percent had experienced at least one detectable miscarriage, 18 percent had had at least one abortion and 2 percent had experienced a stillbirth.

Over a follow-up of about 10 years, 82 of the women had a heart attack and 112 had a stroke. There was no significant association between any type of pregnancy loss and stroke, said the researchers.

Each miscarriage increased heart attack risk by 40 percent, and having more than two miscarriages increased the risk by more than fourfold. Women who had more than three miscarriages had a ninefold increased risk.

The study, published online Dec. 1 in the journal Heart, also found that having at least one stillbirth increased the risk of heart attack 3.5 times.

The degree of risk associated with recurrent miscarriage decreased when the researchers factored in major heart attack factors such as smoking, weight and alcohol consumption, but the risk was still five times higher than normal.

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