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January 13, 2022

Mitigating the Long-term Health Risks of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Department of Neurology, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
  • 3Departments of Preventive Medicine and Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4Senior Editor, JAMA
JAMA. 2022;327(5):421-422. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.23870

Pregnancy is a window to future health, and the pregnancy and postpartum periods are critical times to ensure effective and sustainable transitions to long-term preventive health care. Adverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs), including gestational diabetes, preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and related disorders) are major health risks for pregnant individuals during pregnancy and throughout their lifespan.1,2 It is estimated that up to 20% of pregnancies in the US are affected by 1 or more APOs, with the highest prevalence among individuals who identify as American Indian, Asian, Black, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander.3 This contributes to widening racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal and chronic disease outcomes.1

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    1 Comment for this article
    Life Course Health of Children Whose Births are Associated with Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes
    Edward Schor, MD | Stanford University school of medicine
    This article on adverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs), while listing some child outcomes (e.g., fetal growth restriction, premature birth), did not discuss the long-term outcomes of the children born to moms with APOs. There is a literature about the effects of prematurity and fetal growth restrictions, but there should be more attention to the life course health outcomes of children whose mothers experienced maternal APOs, e.g., preeclampsia.