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Infertility Treatment Linked to Heart Disease Hospitalization

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Increased risk seen, especially for hypertensive disease; risk was apparent as early as 30 days postdelivery

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 21, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Infertility treatment is associated with an increased risk for hospitalization due to heart disease, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Rei Yamada, M.D., from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and colleagues examined the association between infertility treatment and postpartum heart disease in a retrospective cohort study of patients who delivered between 2010 and 2018 in the United States. The primary outcome was hospitalization within 12 months postdelivery due to heart disease. The rate difference (RD) of hospitalizations was estimated among patients who conceived with infertility treatment and those who conceived spontaneously.

Infertility was recorded in 0.9 percent of 31,339,991 deliveries. The researchers found that the rates of heart disease hospitalizations were 550 and 355 per 100,000 with infertility treatment and spontaneous conception, respectively (RD, 195; adjusted hazard ratio, 1.99). The most important risk increase was seen for hypertensive disease (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.16). This increased risk was seen as early as 30 days after delivery (hazard ratio, 1.61), with risk increasing progressively up to one year.

“The risks reported here should be interpreted cautiously, considering the low absolute rates of heart disease in the population, including hypertensive disease,” the authors write. “However, the findings suggest that providers should consider counseling patients that infertility treatment is a potential sex-specific risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

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