Jennifer J. Stuart, ScD

Dr. Jennifer Stuart is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on pregnancy complications and maternal cardiovascular disease (CVD). Her research career began as an undergraduate at Franklin & Marshall College where she studied pregnancy complications among Amish women. Dr. Stuart obtained her MSc and ScD degrees in epidemiology from the Harvard Chan School. She also completed her postdoctoral fellowship within the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School. She joined the Division of Women’s Health in 2010, working first as a research assistant and research fellow before joining the faculty in July of 2018.


Dr. Stuart is an active member of the Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER) and the American Heart Association (AHA); she currently serves on the AHA EPI Early Career Committee. She is the lead faculty for “Applications of Epidemiology” (EPI 529) and co-faculty for “Design and Conduct of Trails in Preventive Medicine” (EPI 527) within Harvard Chan School’s blended MPH in Epidemiology program. Dr. Stuart received the Research Excellence Award from the Brigham Research Institute (BRI) at Discover Brigham 2018 and, earlier this year, she received the Trudy Bush Fellowship Award for Cardiovascular Disease Research in Women’s Health from the AHA’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention.


The overarching goal of Dr. Stuart’s research is to translate observational findings on female-specific and female-predominant risk factors for CVD into actionable solutions to improve the health of women. Her projects have drawn on data from local birth cohorts; small domestic and international randomized controlled trials; and the large prospective cohort study, the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII).

Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Associate Epidemiologist, Division of Women’s Health, Department of Medicine

Harvard Medical School
Instructor in Medicine

Other Appointments
Instructor in Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 

Areas of Expertise

Current Research

As a reproductive and cardiovascular epidemiologist, Dr. Stuart’s current research seeks to leverage the CVD risk markers revealed during the cardiometabolic “stress test” of pregnancy to capture women at increased risk for CVD and to identify strategies and design interventions to delay or even prevent CVD in these women.


Utilizing the NHSII cohort data, Dr. Stuart’s research examines the relationship between specific pregnancy complications, including hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (preeclampsia and gestational hypertension), preterm delivery, gestational diabetes mellitus, and small-for-gestational age, with maternal CVD risk factors and events. Her work examining the trajectory of CVD risk factor development (chronic hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, and overweight/obesity) between pregnancy complications and CVD events provides insight into when and how this risk emerges across the life course. The goal of her current research is to illuminate the pathways between these conditions in order to inform guidelines for CVD risk management and reduction and to direct clinical prevention and screening efforts among women with a pregnancy complication history indicative of increased CVD risk.

Select Past Research

  • Heart Health 4 Moms (PCORI, Co-I)
    Randomized controlled trial to test the impact of a web-based lifestyle intervention on self-efficacy, knowledge, and cardiovascular risk factor reduction among women with a recent history of preeclampsia.
  • Maternal Recall of Pregnancy Complications Associated with CVD
    Systematic literature review and subsequent validation studies based at the Brigham and within NHSII and HH4M on the accuracy of maternal self-report of pregnancy complication history.
  • Vitamin D and Maternal and Pediatric Health
    Master’s thesis on vitamin D and spontaneous preterm birth in a Brigham-based birth cohort and two trials based in Mongolia—one of vitamin D fortification and children’s health outcomes and another testing vitamin D administration in pregnancy.


Postdoctoral Research Support


  • CVD Epidemiology Training Program in Behavior, the Environment and Global Health (NHLBI, Postdoctoral Trainee)


Predoctoral Research Support


  • Pre-doctoral Training Program in Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology (NICHD, Predoctoral Trainee)
  • Pregnancy Outcomes and Maternal Cardiovascular Risk (AHA, Predoctoral Fellowship)

Select Publications

Horn J, Tanz LJ, Stuart JJ, Markovitz AR, Skurnik G, Rimm EB, Missmer SA, Rich-Edwards JW. Early or late pregnancy loss and development of clinical cardiovascular disease risk factors: A prospective cohort study. BJOG. 2019;126(1):33-42. PMID:30144277


Rich-Edwards JW, Stuart JJ, Skurnik G, Roche AT, Tsigas E, Fitzmaurice GM, Wilkins-Haug LE, Levkoff SE, Seely EW. Randomized trial to reduce cardiovascular risk in women with recent preeclampsia. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2019 Nov;28(11):1493-1504. PMID:31215837


Stuart JJ, Tanz LJ, Cook N, Spiegelman D, Rimm EB, Missmer SA, Rexrode KM, Mukamal KJ, Rich-Edwards JW. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in 10-year cardiovascular disease risk prediction. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018;72(11):1252-63. PMID:30190003


Stuart JJ, Tanz LJ, Missmer SA, Rimm EB, Spiegelman D, James-Todd T, Rich-Edwards JW. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and maternal cardiovascular disease risk factor development: An observational cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2018;169(4):224-32. PMID:29971437


Stuart JJ. Identifying women with a history of a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy: values, challenges, and opportunities. Mayo Clin Proc. 2018;93(12):1695-7. PMID:30522587


Tanz LJ, Stuart JJ, Williams PL, Rimm EB, Missmer SA, Rexrode KM, Mukamal KJ, Rich-Edwards JW. Preterm Delivery and Maternal Cardiovascular Disease in Young and Middle-Aged Adult Women. Circulation. 2017;135(6):578-89. PMID:28153993


Timpka S, Stuart JJ, Tanz LJ, Rimm EB, Franks PW, Rich-Edwards JW. Lifestyle in progression from hypertensive disorders of pregnancy to chronic hypertension in Nurses’ Health Study II: observational cohort study. BMJ. 2017 Jul 12;358:j3024. PMID:28701338


Tobias DK, Stuart JJ, Li S, Chavarro J, Rimm EB, Rich-Edwards J, Hu FB, Manson JE, Zhang C. Association of History of Gestational Diabetes with Long-term Cardiovascular Disease Risk in a Large Prospective Cohort of US Women. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(12):1735-42. PMID:29049820.


Stuart JJ*, Carter EB, Farland LV, Rich-Edwards JW, Zera CA, McElrath TF, Seely EW. Pregnancy Complications as Markers for Subsequent Maternal Cardiovascular Disease: Validation of a Maternal Recall Questionnaire. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2015;24(9):702-12. PMID:26061196


Stuart JJ, Bairey Merz CN, Berga SL, Miller, VM, Ouyang P, Shufelt CL, Steiner M, Wenger NK, Rich-Edwards JW. Maternal recall of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy: a systematic review. J Womens Health (Larchmt) 2013;22(10):37-47. PMID: 23215903.


* Co-first author