(HealthDay News) — The risk for cardiovascular disease is increased among postmenopausal women with prior pregnancy loss, according to research published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Donna R. Parker, ScD, of the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues analyzed data for 77,701 postmenopausal women. The authors sought to assess the association between a history of pregnancy loss and risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The researchers found that 30.3% of the women reported a history of miscarriage, 2.2% reported a history of stillbirth, and 2.2% reported a history of both miscarriage and stillbirth. 

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After multivariable adjustment, an increased risk for coronary heart disease was found for women who had at least one stillbirth (odds ratio [OR]=1.27; 95% CI, 1.07-1.51), one miscarriage (OR=1.19; 95% CI, 1.08-1.32) or two or more miscarriages (OR=1.18; 95% CI, 1.04-1.34). 

No significant increase in risk of ischemic stroke was associated with history of stillbirth or miscarriage.

“Our findings, although not conclusive, suggest that women with a history of miscarriage or a single stillbirth may be at increased cardiovascular disease risk and should be considered candidates for closer surveillance and/or early intervention by their primary care physician so that risk factors can be carefully monitored and controlled,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Parker DR et al. Ann Fam Med. 2014;12(4):302-309.