Acute Cerebrovascular Disease Occurring After Hospital Discharge for Labor and Delivery

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Background and Purpose—

The risk of stroke and other postpartum cerebrovascular disease (CVD) occurring after hospital discharge for labor and delivery is uncertain.


We performed a retrospective cohort study using administrative databases to identify all pregnant women who were hospitalized for labor and delivery at nonfederal, acute care hospitals in California from 2005 to 2011 and who were discharged without an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis of CVD. The primary outcome was an acute CVD composite defined as any ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, pituitary apoplexy, carotid/vertebral artery dissection, hypertensive encephalopathy, or other acute CVD occurring after hospital discharge and before 6 weeks after labor and delivery. Descriptive statistics were used to estimate the incidence of postdischarge CVD. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between selected baseline factors and postdischarge CVD.


The rate of any postdischarge acute CVD was 14.8 per 100 000 patients (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.2–16.5). Risk factors for any acute CVD were eclampsia (odds ratio [OR], 10.1; 95% CI, 3.09–32.8), chronic kidney disease (OR, 5.4; 95% CI, 2.5–11.8), black race (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.9–3.3), preeclampsia (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.6–2.8), pregnancy-related hematologic disorders (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3–2.5), and age (OR, 1.5 per decade; 95% CI, 1.3–1.8).


The incidence of postpartum acute CVD after hospital discharge for labor and delivery is similar to rates reported for all postpartum events in previous publications, suggesting that a substantial proportion of postpartum CVD occurs after discharge.

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