A 20-year Population Study Of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy: What Did It Find?

10 Oct 2023 • Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a type of heart failure, secondary to left ventricular systolic dysfunction, & identified around the time of pregnancy. In a retrospective observational study spanning from 1998 to 2017 in Scotland, the epidemiology and long-term outcomes of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) were investigated.

  • The study found that PPCM affected approximately 1 in 4950 women during pregnancy. Several risk factors for PPCM were identified, including obesity, gestational hypertensive disorders, and multi-gestation.
  • The study revealed that mortality and rehospitalization rates in women with PPCM were significantly higher, around 12 and 3 times, respectively, compared to controls.
  • Moreover, 14% of PPCM cases experienced adverse outcomes, such as all-cause death, mechanical circulatory support, or cardiac transplantation.
  • While 76% of women with PPCM showed left ventricular recovery initially, 13% later experienced a decline in left ventricular systolic function despite initial improvement.
  • Additionally, children born to women with PPCM faced a significantly higher mortality rate, about 5 times higher than children born to controls, and also had an approximately 3-fold increased incidence of cardiovascular disease over a median follow-up of 8.8 years.

The study emphasizes the need for vigilant monitoring and follow-up for both mothers and children affected by PPCM, even after apparent recovery, and suggests a low threshold for investigating at-risk women during pregnancy.

Source: European Heart Journal | Read full story

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