Pregnancy loss is related to body mass index and prediabetes in early adulthood: Findings from Add Health


Cortés, Yamnia I.; Zhang, Shuo; & Hussey, Jon M. (2022). Pregnancy loss is related to body mass index and prediabetes in early adulthood: Findings from Add Health. PLOS ONE. vol. 17 (12)


Pregnancy loss, including miscarriage and stillbirth, affects 15–20% of pregnancies in the United States (US) annually. Accumulating evidence suggests that pregnancy loss is associated with a greater cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden later in life. However, few studies have evaluated the impact of pregnancy loss on CVD risk factors in early adulthood (age <35 years). The aim of this study was to examine associations between pregnancy loss and CVD risk factors (body mass index, blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, diabetes status) in early adulthood. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using the public-use dataset for Wave IV (2007–2009) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Our sample consisted of women, ages 24–32 years, with a previous pregnancy who completed biological data collection (n = 2,968). Pregnancy loss was assessed as any history of miscarriage or stillbirth; and quantified as none, one, or recurrent (≥2) pregnancy loss. Associations between pregnancy loss and each CVD risk factor were tested using linear and logistic regression adjusting for sociodemographic factors, parity, health behaviors during pregnancy, and depression. We tested for interactions with race/ethnicity. A total of 670 women reported a pregnancy loss, of which 28% reported recurrent pregnancy loss. A prior pregnancy loss was related to a 3.79 (kg/mm2) higher BMI in non-Hispanic Black women, but not white women. Women with recurrent pregnancy loss were more likely to have prediabetes (AOR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.10–3.37, p<0.05) than women with all live births. Findings suggest that pregnancy loss may be associated with a more adverse CVD risk profile in early adulthood, particularly for women who experience recurrent pregnancy loss. This highlights the need for CVD risk assessment in young women with a prior pregnancy loss. Further research is necessary to identify underlying risk factors of pregnancy loss that may predispose women to CVD.




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Journal Article

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Cortés, Yamnia I.
Zhang, Shuo
Hussey, Jon M.

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