The incidence of stroke during pregnancy or post-partum, known as pregnancy-associated stroke (PAS), is increasing. Careful management of pregnancy and awareness of PAS risk factors including smoking, migraine, and hypertensive disorders, is essential, particularly for older mothers and in the early post-partum period.
Why this matters
PAS is responsible for an estimated 15% of maternal deaths, while PAS-related morbidity can have ongoing impacts on maternal and familial health.
Recent studies from the United States and Canada suggest that the rate of PAS is increasing, identifying hypertensive disorders, older maternal age, and maternal comorbidities as key drivers. However, studies to date have been limited by a lack of validated registry data to confirm the temporal relationship between stroke and pregnancy.