Number of Pregnancies and Atrial Fibrillation Risk
The Women’s Health Study
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Increased parity is independently associated with risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in large observational studies.1 Although CVD is a strong risk factor for the development of atrial fibrillation (AF),2 little is known about the relationship between parity and AF risk. To address these gaps in knowledge, and given the significant impact AF has in women, we sought to examine the relationship between parity and AF in a large cohort of women free of CVD and AF at baseline within the WHS (Women’s Health Study).
WHS began as a randomized trial examining the use of aspirin versus placebo for the primary prevention of CVD and cancer.3 The study enrolled 39 876 women aged ≥45 years without CVD or any major illness. Development of prespecified health outcomes, and updated demographic, lifestyle, and CVD risk factor information were captured in annual questionnaires. The randomized trial was completed in March 2004, and subjects were invited to participate in observational follow-up. Women reported their number of pregnancies lasting at least 6 months in duration at baseline and incident AF events beginning at 48 months and …