Emerging insights into peripartum cardiomyopathy

J. D. Fett, R. D. Carraway, H. Perry, D. L. Dowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is relatively common in the Hospital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) district of Haiti. This investigation was carried out to expand epidemiologic data aiming at identifying risk factors for PPCM in this population. The HAS District PPCM Registry with 74 PPCM patients, enrolled from 1 February 2000 to 1 September 2002, served to identify the PPCM patients involved in this study. Thirty-seven non-PPCM Haitian mothers from the HAS district served as controls in the case-control study I and 32 non-PPCM Haitian mothers from the HAS district served as controls for the case-control study II. Following informed consent, patients and controls participated in clinical examination, echocardiography, epidemiologic questionnaire interviews, and immunohaematologic testing. Findings revealed: increased parity in PPCM vs control mothers (4.6 vs 3.3, p=0.0252); 47% of the PPCM mothers had their initial diagnosis with the 5th or more pregnancy; increased number of patients with some hospital prenatal care in PPCM vs control mothers (42% vs 0%, p=0.00001); and increased valley unit PPCM vs control mothers with no formal schooling (54% vs 24%, p=0.0054). However, when hill-unit controls were included, there was no statistical difference in this category. Taking drinking-water from the river was found in 11% of the valley PPCM mothers vs 0% of the valley control mothers (p=0.0509). Although the first 59 PPCM cases identified came from the valley units, recent identification of PPCM mothers in the hill unit indicates similar incidence of PPCM in mothers of remote hill area compared to the valley mothers-approximately 1 per 350 to 400 livebirths. Although the cause of PPCM and reasons for increased incidence in the HAS district of Haiti remain unknown, initial data present emerging insights and avenues to pursue in subsequent studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Health Population and Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • Case-control studies
  • Haiti
  • Heart failure
  • Microchimerism
  • Peripartum cardiomyopathy
  • Pregnacy
  • Selenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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