HealthDay News — Reproductive factors play a causal role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Maddalena Ardissino, M.B.B.S., from Imperial College London, and colleagues examined the causal role of reproductive factors on cardiovascular disease in women using Mendelian randomization. Uncorrelated, genome-wide significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms were extracted from sex-specific genome-wide association studies.
The researchers found that earlier genetically predicted age at first birth increased the risk for coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke (odds ratios per year, 1.49, 1.27, and 1.25, respectively); partial mediators included body mass index, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol traits. The risks for atrial fibrillation, heart failure, ischemic stroke, and stroke were increased with a higher genetically predicted number of live births (fewer than two versus two versus more than two: odds ratios, 2.91, 1.90, 1.86, and 2.07, respectively). Increased risks for coronary artery disease and heart failure were seen with earlier genetically predicted age at menarche (odds ratios per year, 1.10 and 1.12), with both associations partially mediated by body mass index.
“The findings support the emerging research focus on female-specific risk factors for CVD, by demonstrating that earlier first birth, higher number of live births, and earlier menarche are all associated with increased CVD in women,” the authors write. “We stress the importance of routine evaluation of reproductive history in clinical risk stratification and consideration of targeted prevention strategies for women.”