Infertility in women linked to worse cardiovascular health later in life

January 17, 2024 – In women who have given birth, a history of infertility may be associated with poorer cardiovascular health in midlife, according to a study co-authored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers.

The study, published January 5 in the journal JAMA Network Open, was led by Amy Nichols, postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Nutrition.

The study included 468 women who had given birth to one child in the Boston area between 1999 and 2002. At their midlife point, or around 50 years of age, researchers evaluated their history of infertility and scored their cardiovascular health based on various factors such as weight, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol levels. They found that individuals who had a history of infertility had worse scores overall.

“Our results provide additional weight to evidence suggesting inclusion of infertility history in assessing risk among female patients and demonstrate the importance of early identification and invocation of ongoing cardiovascular preventive strategies,” the researchers concluded.

Other Harvard Chan School authors of the study were Jessica Young, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Jorge Chavarro, professor of nutrition and epidemiology, and Emily Oken, professor in the Department of Nutrition.

Read the study: History of Infertility and Midlife Cardiovascular Health in Female Individuals

Read a January 8 Healio article about the study: History of infertility tied to midlife women’s cardiovascular health

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