Pre-pregnancy counselling key to averting stroke risk

THE importance of pre-conception counselling in women with risk factors for CVD has been highlighted, after a US study showed pregnancy-related hospitalisations for stroke have risen markedly since the mid-1990s.

In the decade to 2006–07, the rate of hospitalisations for stroke postpartum grew by 83%, while the rate of antenatal admissions for stroke grew by 47%, researchers found after drawing on a national database.

The increases occurred with all types of stroke, including subarachnoid haemorrhage, intracerebral haemorrhage, ischaemic stroke, transient ischaemic attack and cerebral venous thrombosis, they said.

In 2006–07, almost a third of the women hospitalised due to stroke in the antenatal or postnatal period also had hypertensive disorders or heart disease, they found.

David Ellwood, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Australian National University Medical School, said it was likely Australian pregnancy