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Women with a normal weight first child and small second infant have increased risk of cardiovascular mortality.

Changes in offspring birthweight quartiles from first to second pregnancy could inform women’s future risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) death, according to a study published online May 30 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Yeneabeba Tilahun Sima, Ph.D., from the University of Bergen in Norway, and colleagues assessed long-term CVD mortality by offspring birth weight patterns among women with spontaneous and iatrogenic term deliveries in Norway (1967 to 2020).

The researchers found that changes in offspring birth weight quartiles were associated with long-term maternal CVD mortality. Women with a first offspring in quartile 2/3 (Q2/Q3) and a second in quartile 1 had higher mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.33; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.18 to 1.50), compared with women who had two term infants in Q2/Q3. Risk of CVD mortality was lower if the second offspring was in quartile 4 (HR, 0.78; 95 percent CI, 0.67 to 0.91). Having a second offspring in quartile 4 offset the risk associated with having a first infant in quartile 1 (HR, 0.99; 95 percent CI, 0.75 to 1.31). These patterns were similar regardless of iatrogenic or spontaneous deliveries.

“Our findings highlight the importance of including information from women’s subsequent births for identification of high-risk subgroups for specific follow-up,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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