Incident stroke in individuals with peripartum cardiomyopathy

Am Heart J. 2024 Jun 21:275:138-140. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2024.06.006. Online ahead of print.


Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a form of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) that occurs during the final month of pregnancy through the first 5 months postpartum, is associated with heightened risk for maternal morbidity and mortality. Stroke is a common complication of HFrEF but there is limited data on the incidence of stroke in PPCM.

Methods: Using statewide, nonfederal administrative data from 2000 to 2015, we analyzed age-adjusted risk of stroke within 3 years after PPCM-associated pregnancies.

Results: PPCM was associated with a greater than 4-fold increased risk of pregnancy-related stroke (aHR 4.7, 95% CI: 3.0-7.5). This risk was highest at the time of PPCM diagnosis but remained elevated in the first postpartum year.

Conclusion: Our findings confirm the strong association between PPCM and stroke, with risk that persists throughout and after the peripartum period.