Women who were born prematurely are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular conditions and pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, according to a new Quebec study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Researchers found the risk increased even more for women born before 32 weeks gestation. The report concludes that a patient's preterm birth should be taken into account during their prenatal care.
This study further supports the work being done at the Maternal Health Clinic at Kingston General Hospital, which is studying the link between certain pregnancy complications and a woman's future risk of cardiovascular disease. This clinic - the first of its kind in North America - is available at 6 months postpartum to women who experienced pregnancy complications including; preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes, intrauterine growth restriction, low birth weight, idiopathic preterm delivery or placental abruption. The goals of the clinic are to promote mothers' health, screen for heart disease risk factors and educate women on the links between pregnancy complications and heart disease.