Women who have had a stillbirth or a miscarriage are more likely to have a stroke. There is an increased risk with each stillbirth.

It's difficult to establish a link because you have to follow a large number of women and have reliable data on their experiences. The British Medical Journal published a study today showing a link between stillbirth and stroke.

Many women don't know that their experience during pregnancy can be an early sign of later health problems. Doctors should be aware of their increased risk, according to our findings.

It is possible that infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth could increase stroke risk. Diabetes, inflammation, and problems with cells that help in blood flow are some of the conditions that could be included.

Heartbreak then stroke risk

Our research is based on pooled data from over 600,000 women who took part in eight different studies in Australia, China, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The women between the ages of 32 and 73 were the first to enroll in the studies and were followed up for over a decade.

There were 9,265 women who had at least one non-fatal stroke and 4,003 women who had a fatal stroke over the course of the study. The number of women who had a history of stillbirth was 4%.

Among the women who had ever been pregnant, women who had reported a miscarriage had an 11 percent higher risk of a non-fatal stroke and 17 percent higher risk of a fatal stroke compared with women who have never had a baby.

Women who had three or more miscarriages had a higher risk of non-fatal stroke and fatal strokes.

The risk of stroke increased as a result of still birth.

The risk of non-fatal strokes for women with a history of stillbirth is more than double that of women without a history of stillbirth.

Women who have had two or more stillbirths are 26 percent more likely to have a fatal stroke.

The study is the first to show a link between stillbirths and strokes.

There was a previous systematic review that found similar results, but there was limited evidence related to stroke types.

Problems with the endothelial cells, which control the flow of blood in the body, could lead to pregnancies being lost. Blood vessels dilate and get blocked during a stroke.

Adjusting for known risk factors

Many of the known risk factors for stroke were adjusted for our findings. Ethnicity and education level were adjusted for the numbers.

By adjusting for risk factors, we can find out if there is an increased risk in the women.

What should women and their doctors do with this information?

The risk of cardiovascular disease is looked at when doctors do a heart health check. Doctors assess and predict the risk of diseases by considering these risks.

When the risk of cardiovascular disease starts to increase, the current Australian guidelines recommend heart health checks for people from the age of 30.

When the risk of cardiovascular disease is greater than 15% in the next five years, the guidelines recommend medication.

The Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, which includes the Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Australia, Kidney Health Australia, National Heart Foundation of Australia, and the Stroke Foundation, is updating these guidelines, but recent international guidelines recommend medication at a lower level of risk.

Even if you have a high risk of cardiovascular disease, the best way to prevent a stroke is to live a healthy lifestyle, such as not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising.

Doctors will try to help people who are at long-term risk do this lifestyle measure.

A woman is at increased risk of cardiovascular disease if she experiences a stillbirth or a miscarriage. These events happen a long time before a woman develops other risk factors.

Women who have lost a baby should talk to their doctor. If you know you have a higher risk of stroke, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent it.

Doctors need to ask about women's reproductive histories and be aware of the risks of stroke.

A professor of life course epidemiology, a PhD student, and a clinical professorial research fellowship are at The University ofQueensland.

Under a Creative Commons license, this article is re-posted. The original article is worth a read.