What is the prevalence of cerebrovascular disease during pregnancy?

Updated: Aug 20, 2019
  • Author: Carmel Armon, MD, MSc, MHS; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the primary cause of adult disability in the United States. It may be broadly classified as either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Although cerebrovascular disease is thought to be uncommon in pregnancy, it is an important source of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality, causing 3.5-26 cases of neurologic dysfunction per 100,000 deliveries, and is associated with more than 12% of maternal deaths. [72]

The incidence of stroke during the childbearing ages alone is 10.7 cases per 100,000 women. Some authors have questioned whether the risk of stroke increases in association with pregnancy itself [73] ; however, evidence suggests that the postpartum period is associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke. [74, 75]

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