| 5.5°C Dublin

Heart disease link to multi miscarriages

Women who suffer repeated miscarriages are more likely to have a family history of heart disease, warns new research.

Recurrent miscarriages -- the loss of three or more pregnancies in a row -- are uncommon and affect about 1pc of people trying to conceive.

Around three-quarters of women who suffer recurrent miscarriages do go on to deliver a healthy baby.

The study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, suggests possible common genetic factors between recurrent miscarriages and coronary artery disease.

Experts in Cambridge and Glasgow analysed data for women going through their first birth (more than 74,000 births) in Scotland between 1992 and 2006.

It found that women who suffered two previous miscarriages had parents with a 25pc higher chance of heart disease.

Those women who had three miscarriages or more had parents who were 56pc more likely to suffer heart disease.

The link did not appear to be explained by other factors such as the women's age, whether she was married, smoked or poor.


The study also looked at hospital admissions among parents for other cardiovascular disease, including stroke and blood clots, but found no link with miscarriage.

Dr Gordon Smith, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Cambridge University, who led the research, said: "The importance of this paper is not that these family associations could be used to predict miscarriage or heart disease.

"Rather, the importance is that it suggests that there may be some common biological factors explaining both outcomes.

"The findings are also consistent with increasing evidence that women who experience multiple miscarriages are at greater risk of later heart disease."

Professor Philip Steer, BJOG editor-in-chief, added: "This new research is interesting as it suggests recurrent miscarriage and ischaemic heart disease may have common genetic predispositions."