• Cardiovascular morbidity;
  • metabolic syndrome;
  • preterm delivery;
  • thromboembolism

Please cite this paper as: Lykke J, Paidas M, Damm P, Triche E, Kuczynski E, Langhoff-Roos J. Preterm delivery and risk of subsequent cardiovascular morbidity and type-II diabetes in the mother. BJOG 2010;117:274–281.

Objective  Preterm delivery has been shown to be associated with subsequent maternal cardiovascular morbidity. However, the impact of the severity and recurrence of preterm delivery on the risk of specific cardiovascular events and the metabolic syndrome in the mother, have not been investigated.

Design  National registry-based retrospective cohort study.

Setting  Women delivering in Denmark from 1978 to 2007.

Population  Women with a first singleton delivery (n = 782 287), and with a first and second singleton delivery (n = 536 419).

Methods  Cox proportional hazard models, with the gestational age stratified into four groups as primary exposure. We made adjustments for maternal age, year of delivery, hypertensive pregnancy disorders, fetal growth deviation, placental abruption and stillbirth.

Main outcome measures  Subsequent maternal hypertension, ischaemic heart diseases, thromboembolism and type-II diabetes.

Results  After a first delivery at 32–36 completed weeks of gestation, the adjusted risk of subsequent type-II diabetes increased 1.89-fold (1.69–2.10) and the risk of thromboembolism increased 1.42-fold (1.24–1.62). Women having a preterm delivery in the first pregnancy and a term delivery in the second had a 1.58-fold (1.34–1.86) increased risk of type-II diabetes and a 1.18-fold (0.96–1.44) increased risk of thromboembolism. Women having two preterm deliveries had a 2.30-fold (1.71–3.10) increased risk of type-II diabetes and a 1.80-fold (1.29–2.50) increased risk of thromboembolism.

Conclusions  Preterm delivery is independent of other pregnancy complications associated with subsequent maternal overt type-II diabetes and thromboembolism. The recurrence of preterm delivery will augment these risks.