Pregnancy through reproductive technology increases the risk of preeclampsia
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According to a study presented at the annual scientific session of the American College of Cardiology in conjunction with the World Congress of Cardiology, women who became pregnant through assisted reproductive technology were more than twice as likely to develop preeclampsia than women with traditional pregnancy.
The study, based on an analysis of the medical records of more than 2.2 million patients, is the first national assessment of how reproductive technologies may affect the risk of cardiovascular complications during pregnancy. Preeclampsia – is a complication of pregnancy associated with high blood pressure and possible organ damage that poses a serious risk to the pregnant woman and baby.
Assisted reproductive technologies cover all interventions related to the processing of extracted eggs, sperm or embryos in vitro for the purpose of conception, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination and other methods.
“The results were unexpected – Few studies have previously examined the cardiovascular complications of technology-assisted pregnancies in such detail, and none have assessed these complications at the national level, – says study lead author Ahmad Mustafa, MD and research fellow at Staten Island University Hospital. “Specialized cardiovascular care should be included in the routine follow-up of patients who conceive through assisted reproductive technology”.
Using data from the National Inpatient Database, researchers estimated CV events for 5,874 technology pregnancies and more than 2.2 million conventional practice pregnancies between 2016 and 2018. Comparing two matched groups and adjusting for baseline factors risk, researchers found that women with technology-assisted pregnancies were twice as likely to develop preeclampsia as women with traditional pregnancies. Preeclampsia causes many symptoms and complications and can lead to eclampsia, a life-threatening condition characterized by seizures and/or coma in a pregnant woman who requires delivery.
Having preeclampsia also has long-term consequences, including including a high risk of preeclampsia in future pregnancies, and an increased risk of kidney disease and cardiovascular disease such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure later in life.
“Double the risk of preeclampsia compared to with traditional pregnancy should not discourage people from considering assisted reproductive technologies. However, it is important to see a cardio-obstetrician or maternal fetal medicine specialist for proper treatment and timely treatment if cardiovascular problems occur”,– warns the author of the study.
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