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May 1963

Familial Occurrence of Postpartal Heart Failure

Author Affiliations


From Department of Medicine, University of Arkansas Medical Center.; Associate Professor of Medicine and Investigator of Arkansas Heart Association (Dr. Pierce); Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dr. Price); formerly Resident in Medicine, now Captain, USAF (Dr. Joyce).

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(5):651-655. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620290117016

Heart failure of the postpartum period in the absence of antecedent heart disease has been recognized as a clinical syndrome which occurs mainly in Negroes.1-3 Most of the published reports on this syndrome have originated from teaching hospitals that treat large numbers of Negro patients.

The familial occurrence of postpartal heart failure has not been reported previously. Three of 17 patients in the present series gave a definite family history of postpartal heart failure. The group was followed for a long period of time, and the clinical observations generally confirm previous reports.

Method of Procedure  Patients were selected for study from a review of the clinical records of women who had congestive heart failure while in the child-bearing age group. The survey covered the 12-year period from January, 1948, through December, 1959. Patients were included only if congestive heart failure initially appeared within 120 days after delivery.The study

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