Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Increase Stroke Risk at an Earlier Age

2 Jun 2023 • Women who experience an adverse pregnancy outcome (APO) have a higher risk of having a stroke in their lifetime, and at a younger age, according to a study published online in AHA's Journal Stroke. Researchers assessed whether APOs are associated with younger age at first stroke. Analysis included 144,306 Finnish women (316,789 births) who gave birth after 1969, with 17.9 percent having at least one pregnancy with an APO.


  • People with at least one adverse pregnancy outcome have higher lifetime stroke risk vs. people with no pregnancy complications.
  • Stroke risk increased with subsequent pregnancies with complications.
  • Of women in this study who had a stroke, the stroke occurred at an earlier age – 52.6 years on average in women who experienced two or more adverse pregnancy outcomes, compared with 54.8 years in women with one adverse pregnancy outcome, and 58.3 years in women who had uncomplicated pregnancies.
  • Women with adverse pregnancy outcomes had more medical comorbidities, including obesity, hypertension, heart disease and migraine.
  • Compared to those without APO, women with recurrent APOs had doubled the stroke risk before age 45.
  • The study concludes that women who experience APO have earlier onset of cerebrovascular disease.

The researchers said mechanistic studies are needed to better understand the pathways by which pregnancy complications, including gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and preterm birth, may contribute to early-onset cerebrovascular disease.

Source: AHA Journal Stroke | Read full story

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