University of Oulu

Rissanen, I., Geerlings, M. I., Juvela, S., Miettunen, J., Paananen, M., & Tetri, S. (2021). Cerebrovascular disease at young age is related to mother’s health during the pregnancy—The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study. International Journal of Stroke.

Cerebrovascular disease at young age is related to mother’s health during the pregnancy : the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study

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Author: Rissanen, Ina1,2,3; Geerlings, Mirjam I.3; Juvela, Seppo4;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Finland
3Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht and Utrecht University, the Netherlands
4Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
5Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: SAGE Publications, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-02-23


Background and purpose: For prevention of cerebrovascular diseases at younger age, it is important to understand the risk factors occurring early in life. We investigated the relationship between mothers’ general health during pregnancy and the offspring’s risk of cerebrovascular disease in age of 15 to 52 years.

Methods: Within the population-based prospective Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966, 11,926 persons were followed from antenatal period to 52 years of age. Information on their mother’s ill health conditions, i.e., hospitalizations, chronic diseases, medications, vitamin or iron supplement, fever, anemia, mood, and smoking was collected from 24th gestational week onwards. Ischemic and hemorrhagic cerebrovascular diseases of the offspring were identified from national registers in Finland. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the association of mother’s health conditions with incidence of cerebrovascular disease in the offspring, with adjustments for potential confounders.

Results: During 565,585 person-years of follow-up, 449 (2.8%) of the offspring had a cerebrovascular disease. Hospitalization during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of cerebrovascular disease in the offspring (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.49; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–2.08) after adjustment for confounders, as was having more than three ill health conditions (HR = 1.89; CI 1.14–3.11). Not using vitamin or iron supplement was associated with increased risk for cerebrovascular disease in the offspring (HR = 1.39; CI 1.01–1.89).

Conclusions: The results suggest that the risk of cerebrovascular disease may start as early as during the antenatal period, and the health characteristics of mothers during pregnancy may play a role in cerebrovascular disease risk of the offspring.

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Series: International journal of stroke
ISSN: 1747-4930
ISSN-E: 1747-4949
ISSN-L: 1747-4930
Volume: In press
DOI: 10.1177/17474930211040720
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: NFBC1966 received financial support from University of Oulu[65354, 24000692]; Oulu University Hospital[2/97, 8/97, 24301140]; Ministry of Health and Social Affairs[23/251/97, 160/97, 190/97]; National Institute for Health and Welfare[54121]; and European Regional Development Fund[539/2010 A31592]. This work was supported by Orion Research Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2021 SAGE Publications. The final authenticated version is available online at