Preterm delivery, defined as any birth occurring at less than 37 weeks, occurs in about 9.6 births in the U.S. annually. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that women who gave birth preterm are at an increased risk of developing ischemic heart disease (IHD) over the course of their life.
Researchers used the Swedish Medical Birth Registry to conduct their study. In total, they assessed long-term changes in IHD risks in over 2.1 million women who gave birth between 1973-2015. All the women studied had singleton births.
The study found that women who delivered preterm had a “2.5- and 4-fold risk” of acquiring IHD later on in life compared to the women who gave birth at full-term. Thus, lead researchers have asserted that preterm delivery “should now be recognized as an independent risk factor for IHD across the life course.”
To read more about this study, please click here.