Severe Forms of Maternal Bereavement Linked to Heart Failure in Offspring

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Increased risks for heart failure seen in association with death of a partner or older child, unnatural death of a relative

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 22, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Prenatal exposure to severe stress, defined as the most severe forms of maternal bereavement, is associated with an increased risk for heart failure in offspring, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in JACC: Heart Failure.

Fen Yang, M.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined whether prenatal stress, defined as maternal bereavement, was associated with the risk for heart failure up to middle age in a cohort study involving 6,758,560 live singleton births from the Danish and Swedish Medical Birth Registers.

The researchers found that 0.07 percent of offspring had a diagnosis of heart failure during up to 48 years of follow-up. There was no association observed for maternal loss of any close family member with heart failure in the offspring (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.04; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.88 to 1.23). However, increased risks for heart failure were seen in association with the most severe forms of bereavement, including death of a partner or older child and unnatural death of a relative (adjusted hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 1.47 [1.06 to 2.04] and 2.77 [1.49 to 5.17], respectively). Substantial contributions were seen for congenital heart disease and preterm birth on the association of maternal loss of a partner or older child with heart failure risk in the offspring.

“Future studies may investigate whether more frequent but less severe sources of prenatal stress are also involved in the development of early-onset heart failure,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

Copyright © 2024 HealthDay. All rights reserved.