The research has prompted calls for doctors to include questions about stillbirths or miscarriages when screening for cardiovascular disease, so that women who have experienced either will be closely monitored and receive early intervention for cardiovascular disease risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity, smoking and diet.
The findings are particularly significant given the increasing prevalence of pregnancy loss as women delay having children.
Researchers at Brown University in the US surveyed 77,701 women, 30.3 per cent of whom had reported having at least one miscarriage, 2.2 per cent had experienced a stillbirth and 2.2 per cent had a history that involved both.
The mechanism for the association between pregnancy loss and coronary heart disease isn't clear, but "there appears to be a relationship between the metabolic syndrome, abnormal implantation, and endothelial dysfunction," the study notes.
The association appeared to be independent of hypertension, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and white blood cell count.
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