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Miscarriage Tied to Family Heart Disease History

Reuters ,  Feb 12, 2011
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New findings suggest there could be a link between parents' heart disease and their grown-up daughter's risk of having miscarriages.

Researchers in the UK found that women who miscarried twice before having their first child had a higher than average risk of having parents with heart disease. This risk was even higher in women who'd miscarried three times before giving birth, said Dr. Gordon Smith of Cambridge University and his colleagues.

For the moment, Smith told Reuters Health, this news can't be used to help a woman lower her risk of multiple miscarriages. What it can do, he said, is serve as a clue for researchers studying how genes passed from parent to child affect both problems: heart disease and miscarriage.

In a previous study of nearly 130,000 Scottish women, Smith and his team had shown that those with frequent miscarriages were more likely to have heart problems as they grew older (see Reuters Health story of February 21, 2003). This made the researchers wonder whether such women -- already at risk for developing heart disease themselves -- were also more likely to have a family history of heart disease, which would suggest the two were genetically related.

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