History of Substance Use Strongly Linked with Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke During Childbirth

    Pregnant women with a history of substance use are at greatly increased risk for having a heart attack or stroke during childbirth, compared with women without a history of substance use, a new study finds.

    “This telling research shows that substance use during pregnancy doubled cardiovascular events and maternal mortality during delivery,” senior author Dr. Martha Gulati of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles said in a news release.

    The study found substance use also doubled the risk of acute heart failure, HealthDay reports.

    The study highlights the need for additional medical care for pregnant individuals with a history of substance use, according to Christine M. Albert, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Cardiology in the Smidt Heart. Dr. Albert said prenatal care for those with a history of substance use should include a multidisciplinary cardio-obstetrics approach with high-risk pregnancy specialists and cardiologists to help identify and minimize adverse outcomes.


    September 2023