Infertility Treatment Doubles Risk Of Heart Disease Within Year After Delivery: Study

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Researchers have found that there is a stark elevation in the risk of developing heart disease in women who conceive through infertility treatment.

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The risk of getting hospitalized with heart disease within a year after the delivery is 2.16 times more in those with infertility treatment than those who conceived naturally, according to a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

The researchers noted that the increased risk was most pronounced in the month following the delivery, particularly in those patients who experienced dangerously high blood pressure.

“Postpartum checkups are necessary for all patients, but this study indicates they are particularly important for patients who undergo infertility treatment to achieve a conception,” said Rei Yamada, lead author of the study, in a news release.

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“And these results aren’t the only ones to indicate that follow-up should occur early. We have been involved in a series of studies over the past few years that have found serious risks of heart disease and stroke to various high-risk patient populations within those initial 30 days after delivery—risks that could be mitigated with earlier follow-up care,” said Cande Ananth, senior author of the study.

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The findings were based on an analysis of about 31 million hospital discharges and readmissions from the Nationwide Readmissions Database. The database allowed the researchers to identify the specific populations and reasons for readmission.

Of the total populations studied, 287,813 patients had received some form of infertility treatment. While the rate of heart disease hospitalizations in those who conceived naturally was 355 per 100,000, there were 550 cases of similar hospitalization in those who received some form of infertility treatment.

The study didn’t examine the underlying reason that elevates the heart disease risk in patients who took infertility treatment. However, the researchers believe the elevated risk could either stem from the infertility treatments, the underlying medical issues causing infertility, or any other unidentified factor.

“Looking forward, I’d like to see if different types of infertility treatment and, importantly, medications are associated with different risk levels. Our data gave no information about which patients had undergone which treatment. More detailed information might also provide insight into how infertility treatment impacts cardiovascular outcomes,” Yamada said.



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