Skip to main content

Maternal cardiovascular disease after twin pregnancies complicated by hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: a population-based cohort study

Hiersch L, Ray JG, Barrett J, Berger H, Geary M, McDonald SD, Diong C, Gandhi S, Guan J, Murray-Davis B, Melamed N; DOH-NET (Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension in Pregnancy Research Network). CMAJ. 2021; 193(37):E1448-58. Epub 2021 Sep 20. DOI:

Background — People whose singleton pregnancy is affected by hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are at risk of future cardiovascular disease. It is unclear, however, whether this association can be extrapolated to twin pregnancies. We aimed to compare the association between HDP and future cardiovascular disease after twin and singleton pregnancies.

Methods — We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study that included nulliparous people in Ontario, Canada, 1992–2017. We compared the future risk of cardiovascular disease among pregnant people from the following 4 groups: those who delivered a singleton without HDP (referent) and with HDP, and those who delivered twins either with or without HDP.

Results — The populations of the 4 groups were as follows: 1 431 651 pregnant people in the singleton birth without HDP group; 98 631 singleton birth with HDP; 21 046 twin birth without HDP; and 4283 twin birth with HDP. The median duration of follow-up was 13 (interquartile range 7–20) years. The incidence rate of cardiovascular disease was lowest among those with a singleton or twin birth without HDP (0.72 and 0.74 per 1000 person-years, respectively). Compared with people with a singleton birth without HDP, the risk of cardiovascular disease was highest among those with a singleton birth and HDP (1.47 per 1000 person-years; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.81 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.72–1.90]), followed by people with a twin pregnancy and HDP (1.07 per 1000 person-years; adjusted HR 1.36 [95% CI 1.04–1.77]). The risk of the primary outcome after a twin pregnancy with HDP was lower than that after a singleton pregnancy with HDP (adjusted HR 0.74 [95% CI 0.57–0.97]), when compared directly.

Interpretation — In a twin pregnancy, HDP are weaker risk factors for postpartum cardiovascular disease than in a singleton pregnancy.

View full text