The Role of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Maternal Cardiovascular Disease According to Offspring Birth Characteristics in the HUNT Study
A history of preterm or small (SGA) or large (LGA) for gestational age offspring is associated with smoking and unfavorable levels of BMI, blood pressure, glucose and lipids. Whether and to what extent the excess cardiovascular risk observed in women with these pregnancy complications is explained by conventional cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) is not known. We examined the association between a history of SGA, LGA or preterm birth and cardiovascular disease among 23,284 parous women and quantified the contribution of individual CVRFs to the excess cardiovascular risk using an inverse odds weighting approach. The hazard ratios (HR) between SGA and LGA offspring and CVD were 1.30 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15, 1.48) and 0.89 (95% CI 0.76, 1.03), respectively. Smoking explained 49% and blood pressure may have explained ≈12% of the excess cardiovascular risk in women with SGA offspring. Women with preterm birth had a 24% increased risk of CVD (HR 1.24, 95% CI 1.06, 1.45), but we found no evidence for CVRFs explaining any of this excess cardiovascular risk. While smoking explains a substantial proportion of excess cardiovascular risk in women with SGA offspring and blood pressure may explain a small proportion in these women, we found no evidence that conventional CVRFs explain any of the excess cardiovascular risk in women with preterm birth.