The co-occurrence and cumulative prevalence of hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism in preterm-born women in the Women's Health Initiative.

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Emerging evidence suggests that preterm-born individuals (gestation) are at increased risk of developing chronic health conditions in adulthood. This study compared the prevalence, co-occurrence, and cumulative prevalence of three female predominant chronic health conditions - hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis [RA], and hypothyroidism - alone and concurrently. Of 82,514 U.S. women aged 50-79 years enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative, 2,303 self-reported being born preterm. Logistic regression was used to analyze the prevalence of each condition at enrollment with birth status (preterm, full term). Multinomial logistic regression models analyzed the association between birth status and each condition alone and concurrently. Outcome variables using the 3 conditions were created to give 8 categories ranging from no disease, each condition alone, two-way combinations, to having all three conditions. The models adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, and sociodemographic, lifestyle, and other health-related risk factors. Women born preterm were significantly more likely to have any one or a combination of the selected conditions. In fully adjusted models for individual conditions, the adjusted odds ratios (aORs) were 1.14 (95% CI, 1.04, 1.26) for hypertension, 1.28 (1.12, 1.47) for RA, and 1.12 (1.01, 1.24) for hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism and RA were the strongest coexisting conditions [aOR 1.69, 95% CI (1.14, 2.51)], followed by hypertension and RA [aOR 1.48, 95% CI (1.20, 1.82)]. The aOR for all three conditions was 1.69 (1.22, 2.35). Perinatal history is pertinent across the life course. Preventive measures and early identification of risk factors and disease in preterm-born individuals are essential to mitigating adverse health outcomes in adulthood.

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J Dev Orig Health Dis

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online ahead of print

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