About the Project: There is significant potential for women with cardiac risk factors or disease during pregnancy to experience future adverse cardiovascular events. Cardiac disease may be related to pregnancy as a direct or indirect cause and contributes to maternal morbidity and mortality. Emerging evidence has highlighted the potential risk of pregnancy-related adverse events occurring later in life, however data are limited. In addition, the increasing number of women with congenital heart disease experiencing pregnancy has highlighted the importance of cardiovascular risk identification and management during and after pregnancy. Thus, there is a need to better understand the relationship between cardiovascular risk factors identified during pregnancy and future health outcomes, as well as to explore women’s experience of and preferences for cardiovascular risk management during and after pregnancy.
Aim: This project will aim to investigate the relationship between cardiovascular risk factors identified during pregnancy and future cardiovascular outcomes and explore women’s experience of and preferences for cardiovascular risk management during and after pregnancy.
Method: The study will take a mixed methods approach to address this aim and firstly, identify a cohort of women with cardiac disease and follow up pregnancy outcome and long-term maternal cardiovascular outcomes over a 20+ year period using data capture from routine electronic systems used within maternity services such as the Northern Ireland Maternity Information System (NIMATS). It is anticipated the study will utilise a matched cohort design to compare outcomes for women with and without heart disease. Subsequently the study will identify a contemporary sample of pregnant women with cardiovascular risk factors or disease and use interviews to explore their experience of cardiovascular risk identification and management, articulating their preferences for future cardiovascular disease prevention strategies.
Results & Impact: The findings of this study will draw much needed attention to maternal cardiovascular risk in Northern Ireland. This will help to inform the development of a more cohesive prevention strategy underpinned by analysis of population level data integrated with the perspectives of women impacted by cardiovascular risk or disease.
For further information please contact Dr Jenny McNeill, School of Nursing & Midwifery, QUB by email: [Email Address Removed]