WEDNESDAY, May 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For women with heart disease, cardiac complications occur in 16 percent of pregnancies and are mainly linked to arrhythmias and heart failure, according to a study published in the May 29 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Candice K. Silversides, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues examined cardiac outcomes during pregnancy among pregnant women with heart disease and assessed temporal trends in complications. Data were included for 1,938 pregnancies.

The researchers identified cardiac complications in 16 percent of pregnancies; these were mainly related to arrhythmias and heart failure. There was no change in overall rates of cardiac complications during pregnancy during the study period, but a decrease in the frequency of pulmonary edema was seen (8 percent from 1994 to 2001 versus 4 percent from 2001 to 2014). There were 10 predictors of maternal cardiac complications: five general predictors, four lesion-specific predictors, and one delivery of care predictor; these predictors were included in a new risk index.

“Pregnancy in women with heart disease continues to be associated with significant morbidity, although mortality is rare,” the authors write. “Prediction of maternal cardiac complications in women with heart disease is enhanced by integration of general, lesion-specific, and delivery of care variables.”

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