The percentage of strokes or strokes in women during pregnancy or in the immediate postpartum period has increased significantly in the last twelve years, according to data from a study published by Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.

The authors of the research used information extracted from a large national database, which had collected between five and eight million records from a thousand hospitals. This allowed them to compare the number of stroke cases that had occurred between 1994 and 2007 in pregnant women, in those who were in labor, and in those who had just had a baby, and found that hospital admissions due to strokes associated with pregnancy went from 4,085 in 1994 to 6,293 in 2007, which represents an increase of 54% in this period.

Hospital admissions due to strokes associated with pregnancy increased from 4,085 in 1994 to 6,293 in 2007, which represents an increase of 54%

The scientists also observed that women who had to be hospitalized due to a stroke usually had high blood pressure. In 1994, 11.3% of these patients had high blood pressure before delivery, this figure rose to 23.4% of those who were in or near delivery, and reached 27.8% in those who were in the 12 weeks after delivery.

In 2007, the figures of high blood pressure among patients with stroke had increased and were in 17% of pregnant women, 28.5% of those who were in or near the birth, and 40.9% of those who were in the puerperium period.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Lena V. Kuklina, an epidemiologist in Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Division (of the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention) in Atlanta, she is surprised by the alarming increase in stroke in this group, and was in favor of conducting further studies in this regard.

The expert attributes the dramatic increase of this disorder to that there are more and more women who already have some kind of risk factor for stroke before becoming pregnant, such as obesity, diabetes, chronic hypertension, or some type of cardiac disorder of congenital origin. As well as pregnancy is also a risk factor, if a woman previously has one of the aforementioned conditions, the chances of stroke are doubled.

One difficulty that physicians face when dealing with this problem is that they do not have enough information about the most appropriate medications for pregnant women with risk factors for a stroke, because pregnant women are not included in the study. clinical trials to protect the fetus from the possible adverse effects of the drugs.

Therefore, Kuklina says that the ideal is to start the pregnancy with good cardiovascular health, avoiding the risk factors before conception, and advocates that a comprehensive and multidisciplinary plan to establish a series of measures to help physicians and patients to adequately control pregnancy and the postpartum period to prevent the increased risk of stroke.


Stroke Risk Increases Sixfold with Preeclampsia (November 2019).