HealthDay News — Multiparity is associated with poorer cardiovascular health, especially among women with 5 or more live births, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Oluseye Ogunmoroti, MD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues evaluated the association between parity and ideal cardiovascular health (measured with the American Heart Association Life’s Simple 7 metrics) among 3430 women (mean age, 62 years) participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, who were free of clinical cardiovascular disease at baseline.

The researchers found that the mean cardiovascular health score was lower with higher parity. The adjusted odds of average cardiovascular health scores were significantly lower for all parity categories compared with nulliparity (prevalence odds ratios for parity of 1 to 2, 0.64; 3 to 4, 0.65; and 5 or more, 0.64). There was a lower prevalence of optimal cardiovascular health scores among women with 5 or more live births (odds ratio, 0.50). When adjusting for other factors, the association between parity and each Life’s Simple 7 metric was only statistically significant for body mass index. There was a lower prevalence of ideal body mass index among women with 5 or more live births (odds ratio, 0.52). In addition, the test for interaction showed that the association between parity and cardiovascular health was not modified by race/ethnicity.

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“More research is required to explore the mechanisms by which parity may worsen cardiovascular health,” the authors write.

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