HealthDay News — Infertility is significantly associated with later incident heart failure, according to a study published in the April 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Emily S. Lau, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the development of heart failure and heart failure subtypes in women with and without a history of infertility. The analysis included 38,528 postmenopausal women.

The researchers found that 14% of participants reported a history of infertility. Incident heart failure was detected in 2,373 women during a median follow-up of 15 years, including 807 with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and 1,133 with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. There was an association between infertility and future risk for overall heart failure (hazard ratio, 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 1.04 to 1.30; P = 0.006), independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Infertility was associated with future risk for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (hazard ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.09 to 1.48; P = 0.002) but not heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (hazard ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.80 to 1.18).

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“The association between infertility and heart failure did not appear to be explained by established cardiovascular risk factors or infertility-related risk factors, highlighting the need for further investigation into the underlying mechanistic drivers,” the authors write.

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