AIM: Population-based European studies of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) are few. We aimed to estimate the nationwide incidence and outcome of PPCM in Denmark during 2005-2014.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The Danish National Birth Register and the Danish National Patient Register were linked and searched for cardiomyopathy and heart failure ICD-10 diagnoses in a period of nine months before to 12 months after a delivery from 1 January 2005 through 31 December 2014. Diagnoses were validated and additional data were extracted from patient charts. A total of 61 women met the inclusion criteria equalling 1 in 10 149 deliveries. The majority recovered left ventricular systolic function within one year, but 14.8% suffered a major adverse event with 3.3% mortality, 8.2% mechanical circulatory support requirement and/or heart transplantation and 4.9% persistent severe heart failure. Half of the women had a concomitant hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, and this subgroup had a milder course of the disease. Baseline left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was the only significant predictor of LVEF 10-14 months after diagnosis, and cabergoline therapy to inhibit lactation predicted the dichotomous outcome of complete recovery (LVEF ≥55%).
CONCLUSION: The first validated, population-based European estimate of PPCM incidence is 1 in 10 149 deliveries, which places Denmark between American and Japanese estimates. Clinical outcome in the cohort was similar to those reported in recent cohorts. Women with concomitant hypertensive disorder of pregnancy had a milder course of PPCM. Baseline LVEF predicted LVEF 10-14 months after diagnosis and cabergoline predicted complete recovery.