These are the six pregnancy complications that can lead to future heart disease


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A scientific statement signed by the American Heart Association warns that there are six pregnancy-related complications that increase a woman’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the future, which are: lhigh blood pressure, gestational diabetes, premature labor, delivery of an underweight baby gestational age, pregnancy loss, and placental abruption.

Thus, the statement, published in the journal ‘Circulation’ and collected by Europa Press, advocates a “vigorous” prevention of these risk factors and the prevention of heart disease in women who suffer these complications when they go out of care pregnancy and postpartum to Primary Care (PC), with continuous monitoring to control cardiovascular risk throughout life.

Approximately between 10-15 percent of pregnant women experience adverse outcomes pregnancy, that is, maternal or fetal complications that include the six closely related to the risk of later heart disease, as well as other measures related to the health of the baby, such as low birth weight, high gestational age and restriction of the fetal growth.

“Adverse pregnancy outcomes are linked to women having hypertension, diabetes, abnormal cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease events, including heart attack and stroke, long after their pregnancies,” said the chair of the statement’s drafting committee. , Dr. Nisha I. Parikh.

«Prevention or early treatment of risk factors can prevent cardiovascular disease, therefore, adverse pregnancy outcomes can be a powerful window for disease prevention cardiovascular problems if women and their health professionals take advantage of knowledge and use it to improve health, ”Parikh emphasizes.

This comprehensive statement reviews the latest scientific literature on adverse pregnancy outcomes and cardiovascular disease, specifically focusing on health disparities, lifestyle, and prevention recommendations. ‘The evidence linking adverse pregnancy outcomes to subsequent cardiovascular disease is consistent over many years and are confirmed in almost every study we examined», Says the doctor. Therefore, the statement reports the magnitude of the risk related to various pregnancy complications.

Risk for ailment

First, they warn that lhigh blood pressure in pregnancy, called gestational hypertension, increases a woman’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life in 67 percent, and increases the chances of having a stroke by 83 percent.

Gestational hypertension is defined as blood pressure during pregnancy that is equal to or greater than 140/90 mm Hg after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman with previously normal readings. A) Yes, preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy along with signs of damage to the liver, kidneys, or other vital organ) it is a serious condition and it is related to a 2.7 times higher risk of later suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Regarding the gestational diabetes (new onset of type 2 diabetes during pregnancy), this increases a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease by 68 percent and multiplies the risk of type 2 diabetes after pregnancy by 10.

In addition, it has been proven that having a premature labor (give birth before 37 weeks) double the risk of a woman developing cardiovascular disease and is strongly associated with subsequent heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.

Finally, the placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the uterus before delivery) is associated with 82 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stillbirth (death of the baby before delivery) is also associated with an almost double risk of heart disease.

As reported by this American body, they need more studies to examine the association of pregnancy complications and cardiovascular risk in women Black, Hispanic and Asian women, as women in these ethnic groups experience more adverse pregnancy outcomes and have a higher burden of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors compared to white women.

Thus, these scientists remember that a healthy diet improves the cardiovascular health of all women, and studies suggest that a healthy eating pattern during the three years prior to pregnancy is associated with a lower risk of complications in it. «The adoption of a heart-healthy diet, adequate sleep patterns and increased physical activity among women experiencing adverse pregnancy outcomes, they should begin during pregnancy and continue postpartum and for the rest of the patient’s life. These are important lifestyle interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk, ”says Parikh.

The power of breastfeeding

In this sense, the document also points out that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes, later in a woman’s life.

In addition, they call for improved care after pregnancy: a longer postpartum follow-up, a kind of ‘fourth trimester’, to detect the risk of heart disease and offer advice on its prevention; as well as an improvement in the transfer of health information between obstetric professionals and primary care physicians. In addition, they advocate the realization of a short and specific medical history of each woman to confirm if she has any of the six risk factors during pregnancy.

In an accompanying editorial, Neurology Ph.D. Eliza C. Miller writes that pregnancy and the postpartum period are a “critical time window” in a woman’s life for identifying cardiovascular disease risk and improving her health trajectory. “Pregnancy and postpartum should be seen as the ‘golden year’ of opportunities for clinicians to identify young women at risk and work with them to improve their future in cardiovascular health,” says Miller.

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