Objective: This report details current epidemiologic information on peripartum cardiomyopathy in 1 district of Haiti and represents the initial report of an ongoing investigation that addresses potential etiologic and prognostic factors. Another goal is to alert the medical community of what appears to be a high-incidence area.
Study design: A detailed peripartum cardiomyopathy registry has been implemented to include a review of case records from 1994 to 2000 and subsequently to identify new cases from February 1, 2000, to July 1, 2001. The Hospital Albert Schweitzer District of Haiti is a 600-square mile area with approximately 258,000 population served by a hospital, an associated clinic, and outlying health centers. There are approximately 7740 live births annually. This report details epidemiologic information on the HAS District peripartum cardiomyopathy patients including incidence, mortality rate, complications, and prognostic factors.
Results: There were 47 confirmed patients (retrospective cohort, 20 patients; prospective cohort, 27 patients), which was approximately 1 case per 400 live births (compared with an incidence of 1 case per 3000 to 4000 live births in the United States). There were 4 deaths (14% of 29 patients with follow-up), and 7 complications (pulmonary embolism, 1 case; hemiplegia, 1 case; subsequent deterioration of heart function, 5 cases). The prognosis for subsequent pregnancy was 4 of 5 cases (80%) of recurrent congestive heart failure.
Conclusion: Peripartum cardiomyopathy appears to be relatively common in the Hospital Albert Schweitzer District of Haiti. A core group of patients is identified for ongoing epidemiologic and immunohematologic investigation of risk factors and potential etiologic factors.