Vascular Risk Factors Spark Rise in Pregnancy-Related Stroke

Medwire News

US researchers have identified a large increase in the proportion of pregnant women who are hospitalized with stroke.

"I am surprised at the magnitude of the increase, which is substantial," said lead researcher Elena Kuklina (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA), in a press statement. "Our results indicate an urgent need to take a closer look."

The increased stroke rate was largely explained by an increasing prevalence of hypertension and heart disease, Kuklina and team report in the journal Stroke.

The team compared US Nationwide Inpatient Sample data for two periods: 1994-1995 and 2006-2007. The rate of any type of stroke in pregnant women rose between these two periods, from 0.15 to 0.22 per 1000 deliveries, or a 47% increase. The increase was even larger among women in the postpartum period, from 0.12 to 0.22 per 1000 deliveries, or an 83% increase.

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