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Ischaemic heart disease and pregnancy
  1. Matthew Cauldwell1,
  2. Lucia Baris2,
  3. Jolien W Roos-Hesselink2,
  4. Mark R Johnson1
  1. 1 Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Cardiology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Professor Mark R Johnson, Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London SW10 9NH, UK; mark.johnson{at}


Although ischaemic heart disease is currently rarely encountered in pregnancy, occurring between 2.8 and 6.2 per 100 000 deliveries, it is becoming more common as women delay becoming pregnant until later life, when medical comorbidities are more common, and because of the higher prevalence of obesity in the pregnant population. In addition, chronic inflammatory diseases, which are more common in women, may contribute to greater rates of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Pregnancy itself seems to be a risk factor for AMI, although the exact mechanisms are not clear. AMI in pregnancy should be investigated in the same manner as in the non-pregnant population, not allowing for delays, with investigations being conducted as they would outside of pregnancy. Maternal morbidity following AMI is high as a result of increased rates of heart failure, arrhythmia and cardiogenic shock. Delivery in women with history of AMI should be typically guided by obstetric indications not cardiac ones.

  • pregnancy
  • coronary artery disease

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  • Contributors MC wrote the first draft with LB which was edited by MRJ and JWRH. All authors approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.