MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Eyal Cohen, MD, MSc, FRCP(C)
Associate Scientist and Program Head (interim), Child Health Evaluative Sciences
Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Physician, Division of Paediatric Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children
Professor, Paediatrics and Health Policy
Management & Evaluation
The University of Toronto
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Having a child with a major birth defect can be a life-changing and stressful event for the child’s mother. This stress may be associated with higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease.
We found that mothers of infants born with a major birth defect had a 15% higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease that a comparison group of mothers. The risk was more pronounced, rising to 37% among mothers who gave birth to a more severely affected infant (and infant born with major birth defects affecting more than one organ system). The risk was apparent even within the first 10 years after the birth of the child.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Mothers who give birth to babies with significant health problems like major birth defects are themselves at risk of adverse health outcomes like cardiovascular disease.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: The study was conducted in Denmark, a country with free health care and relatively generous family assistance. In other countries, such as those with fewer health and social service supports, the findings may differ and may be more pronounced.
Cohen E, Horváth-Puhó E, Ray JG, et al. Cardiovascular Disease Among Women Who Gave Birth to an Infant With a Major Congenital Anomaly. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(5):e182320. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.2320
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