Multiparity tied to poorer cardiovascular health

  • Am J Obstet Gynecol

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Women who have had ≥5 live births score lower on the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 scale for cardiovascular (CV) health.

Why this matters

  • This study distinguishes CV health/wellness prevalence from CV disease incidence.
  • The authors say the results underscore the need to focus on primary prevention in this population.

Key results

  • Mean CV health score was lower with each live birth.
    • For 0, 1-2, 3-4, and ≥5 births, respectively, average scores were 8.9, 8.7, 8.5, and 7.8 (P<.001>
  • Compared with nulliparity, scores for all categories of parity were lower.
    • For 1-2, 3-4, and ≥5 births, ORs (95% CIs) were 0.64 (0.49-0.83), 0.65 (0.49-0.86), and 0.64 (0.45-0.91).
  • Lower prevalence of good CV scores among women who had ≥5 births: OR, 0.50 (95% CI, 0.30-0.83).
  • With adjustment, BMI emerged as the factor significantly associating parity and Life’s Simple 7 scores.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, 6 US centers, 3430 women, mean age 62 (standard deviation, ±10) years.
  • Life’s Simple 7: smoking, physical activity, BMI, diet, BP, total cholesterol, blood glucose, each assigned 2, 1, or 0 points for ideal, intermediate, or poor, respectively. 
  • Funding: NIH.

Limitations

  • Observational, so causation not established.