1 Jun 2020

The postnatal period therefore offers a window of opportunity for improved cardiovascular health. There is a paucity of data on health outcomes following these physical complications of pregnancy.

This project aims to look at what primary care follow up these women receive in south London currently, and to identify where there may be opportunities for intervention and secondary prevention in primary care.

black mother and family

Project aims

The aim of the project is to address the following questions:

1) Are women being monitored in primary care following hypertensive and diabetic pregnancies?

2) Are physical and mental health outcomes different in women who have had hypertensive and/or diabetic disorders of pregnancy?

3) Do monitoring and outcomes following hypertensive and diabetic pregnancies vary by socio-economic status and ethnicity?

4) Which factor in the postnatal period confers the greatest increase in cardiovascular risk, in women who have had hypertensive and/or diabetic disorders of pregnancy?

How this research will be carried out

The research team will use eLIXIR (early-LIfe data cross-LInkage in Research) data which combines information from health records and blood samples from mothers and children from a large population in an area of south London. They will also use general practice records (Lambeth DataNet) and mental health records (CRIS) that have been collected on women in maternity services since October 2018 to be used for analysis. The data are all from a south London population, capturing the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of this urban population. Analyses will look at whether there is inequality in care and outcomes, by socio-economic status and ethnicity. A  patient and public involvement group will focus on advice about dissemination of study findings, implications for provision of postnatal care, and potential interventions to improve long term cardiovascular outcomes.  

Benefits for people living in south London

The results will help to answer questions about how women are being followed up in primary care following complex pregnancies, how their physical and mental health outcomes differ from women with lower risk pregnancies, and whether this varies by socio-economic status and ethnicity. The results will also look at what are the biggest contributing risk factors to womens' 10 year cardiovascular risk in the postnatal period. Identifying these factors could inform the development of interventions in the postnatal period that aim to improve womens' longer term cardiovascular risk profile.

The study is funded by Professor Lucy Chappell’s NIHR Research Professorship and Dr Liza Bowen's NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship. It was adopted by ARC South London in November 2019 and will be completed by December 2020.