Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States.

Studies have shown that women that have pregnancy problems are more likely to have high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney disease later in life. We have followed a large group of participants through a series of studies to better understand how pregnancy problems are linked to future heart health.



The first study, nuMoM2b (Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-to-be) followed over 10,000 people during their first pregnancy. The participants took part in multiple study visits during their pregnancy to better understand who would experience a normal pregnancy, high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy, or preterm birth. Information was collected from interviews, surveys, ultrasounds, medical records, clinical tests, and biospecimens such as blood and urine samples. A subset of participants were also included in an at-home sleep breathing study to learn about the effects of breathing problems on pregnancy outcomes and future heart health.



The second study, the nuMoM2b Heart Health Study (nuMoM2b-HHS), followed over 7,000 nuMoM2b participants from 2013 to 2020 to learn how pregnancy problems are linked to early signs of future heart disease. These nuMoM2b-HHS participants completed study visits, interviews, and clinical measurements and provided blood and urine samples. They also completed online and/or phone surveys. Some participated in a smaller study that examined breathing patterns at home while sleeping. nuMoM2b-HHS found that people who have pregnancy problems are more likely to have earlier signs of heart disease risk than people who did not have problems with their pregnancy.



The Continuation of the nuMoM2b Heart Health Study (nuMoM2b-HHS2) began in 2020 and will continue to follow nuMoM2b and nuMoM2b-HHS participants until 2027. The study will help us learn more about risk factors and signs of early heart issues, and how these may be related to past pregnancy problems. The participants take part in regular phone or online interviews to gather information and confirm medical and pregnancy histories. They are also asked to attend an in-person study visit with interviews, clinical measurements, and blood and urine sample collection. Many participants are invited to take part in related studies that will gather more detailed information about their health. We hope that findings from this study will help us understand how to lower the risk of chronic diseases and improve health results, particularly those that differ by race.

The Continuation of nuMoM2b Heart Health Study Aims

  1. Continue to collect important data and biological samples from more than 6,000 study participants.
  2. Develop, review, and set up related studies that collect important information about heart, brain and other areas of health.
  3. Estimate how many women develop risk factors for heart disease up to 15 years after their first pregnancy and determine if people who experienced pregnancy problems during their first pregnancy are more likely to have risk factors for heart disease than people who did not have problems with their first pregnancy.
  4. Determine the link between breathing problems that take place while sleeping during pregnancy or soon after delivery and increased risk of heart disease up to 15 years after a first pregnancy. Also identify types of sleep-related breathing problems that increase risk of heart disease.
  5. Understand health behaviors, such as physical activity, nutrition, and smoking, that may affect the relationship between pregnancy problems and risk of heart disease later in life.