CONCEIVE: how does the health of your heart affect the risk of miscarriage?

The CONCEIVE study aims to study 600 women to find out how changes in the health of the heart and blood vessels could lead to miscarriage.

There is evidence that women who have recurrent miscarriages are at higher risk of having a stroke or heart attack later in life. At the moment, no one is sure if this is because of their health before pregnancy, of because of the miscarriages themselves. Tommy’s want to find out.

This trial follows women over their whole pregnancy, and will use non-invasive tests to look at the health of their hearts and blood vessels. Doctors will carry out blood pressure checks, as well as measuring how stiff the blood vessels are and how well the heart is working.

We want to see if differences in the way the heart and blood vessels function before or early in pregnancy can lead to miscarriages. We will also look at if they are linked to high blood pressure during pregnancy, and if they can stop the baby from growing as much as it should (fetal growth restriction).

To do this, we will look and the health of the women’s hearts, as well as taking samples to look for any substances that could also be related to heart health or miscarriage. This will help us understand what could make it more likely for a woman to miscarry. We will also be able to see if helping women have healthy hearts before pregnancy could lower the risk of miscarriage.

So far, CONCEIVE has recruited 370 women to take part, and together with 140 recruited previously at Cambridge University Hospitals we have reached our target. The study has had a lot of media coverage, including from the Evening Standard and on Facebook.

Researchers

Christoph Lees, Phillip Bennett, Lin Foo

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Funding

This study takes place in a Tommy's centre and is supported by Tommy's, the National Institute for Health Research's Biomedical Research Unit, and Action Medical Research

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