NSW longitudinal study of first-time mothers with heart disease and their babies

Years funded:
2017 - 2019

The NSW longitudinal study of first-time mothers with heart disease and their babies will examine the long-term health effects of pregnancy on cardiac disease progression of over 800 women.

While it’s recognised that the additional workload on the heart during pregnancy can result in - sometimes catastrophic - complications, the long-term impact of pregnancy on surviving women is poorly understood.

This study will invite all first-time mothers with heart disease giving birth in 2017 to consent to a longitudinal study that will examine the influence of pregnancy on heart disease and enable future research into the long-term interaction of pregnancy and heart disease.

This is the first project of its kind conducted in Australia and internationally. It will establish a national research resource that provides an evidence base to governments, clinicians, advocacy groups and women of reproductive age with heart disease.

The project takes a holistic view of health and will examine socio-demographic factors, the risk factors and health behaviours, use of health services and clinical management and outcomes including mortality throughout the women’s lifespans, using a combination of surveys and data linkage.

The overarching aim of the study - which draws on a strong network of researchers and clinicians straddling cardiac, obstetric, maternal-fetal medicine and Aboriginal health - is to improve outcomes for the increasing numbers of women with heart disease who become pregnant.

Researcher Profile

Professor Elizabeth Sullivan

Institute: University of Technology, Sydney
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