Pregnant Women With Congenital Heart Disease May Have Low Complication Risks During Delivery

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the myCME.com take:

The risk of complications may not be as high as expected among pregnant women with congenital heart disease, research presented at the American Heart Association’s 2014 Scientific Sessions has found. Complications during labor and delivery top the list of concerns for these patients based on past research, so this finding brings relief to expecting mothers with the condition.

However, the study did find that such women are more likely to undergo cesarean section and to remain in the hospital longer—although the cause of the latter finding may not be related to poor outcomes. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Reports of heart failure, arrhythmias, and cardiac arrest were low for women with non-complex congenital heart disease or complex congenital heart disease. In addition, in-hospital death rates were not significantly higher in women with these conditions.
  • Women with congenital heart disease were more likely to undergo cesarean section compared to women without the condition. In addition, individuals with complex disease underwent the procedure more often than did those with non-complex congenital heart disease (40% vs 33%, respectively).
  • Those with complex congenital heart disease may have longer hospital stays: they remained in the hospital for an average of 5 days, compared to women with non-complex congenital heart disease (3.4 days) and those without congenital heart disease (2.5 days). However, the study authors hypothesize the extra days may have been precautionary, for extra observation.

Risks for pregnant women with heart disease
Risks for pregnant women with heart disease
Pregnant women with congenital heart disease had very low risks of arrhythmias (irregular heart beat) or other heart-related complications during labor and delivery, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014. However, such women were more likely to undergo cesarean section and remain in the hospital longer, researchers said.
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