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Thinking about getting pregnant? First check your risks for heart disease

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A new study in northwestern medicine reports that heart health in pre-pregnant women is strongly associated with the likelihood of experiencing complications during pregnancy or labor.

This study examined the presence of four cardiovascular risk factors Woman Before they become pregnant: smoking, unhealthy weight, high blood pressure, diabetes.The presence of each additional risk factor can put women at a disadvantage pregnancy The results are getting higher and higher. These adverse consequences include admission to the maternal intensive care unit (ICU). Premature birth, Low birth weight infants and fetal death.

“It’s not surprising that obesity and high blood pressure are associated with a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, but surprisingly, as risk factors increase, so does the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. That’s what the corresponding author, Ph.D., said. .. Sadhya Khan, Associate Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University School of Medicine Feinberg. “The sum of all risk factors is greater than the individual parts.”

A study of more than 18 million pregnancies will be published on July 21st. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Journal of the European Society of Cardiology.

Rather than focusing on individual risk factors such as body mass index and blood pressure, the findings advocate a more comprehensive pre-pregnancy cardiovascular assessment, Khan, a cardiologist and epidemiologist in northwestern medicine. He said.

“In reality, not all pregnancies are planned, but ideally we evaluate women well before they become pregnant, so we have time to optimize their health,” Khan said. .. “We also need to shift our focus to prioritizing and promoting women’s health as a society, which not only identifies high blood pressure, but also prevents it from rising in the first place.”

“There is a gap in understanding how these results affect the long-term health of women and their children,” said Feinberg’s fourth-year medical student, lead author Michael Wang. Said. “This data is exciting because it helps design interventions and can draw more attention by bridging the care gaps in these women.”

The “worst case” of pregnancy complications:

Pre-pregnancy obesity and high levels blood pressure According to Khan, there are some signs that women are acquiring cardiovascular risk factors at an earlier age. In addition, more women become pregnant later in life, giving them more time for risk factors to accumulate.

“Taken together, this created more risk factors, a complete storm of earlier onset and later pregnancy,” Khan said.

Breakdown of numbers:

This study is a cross-sectional analysis of maternal and fetal data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and collects information on all births and fetal deaths after 20 weeks of gestation. Individual-level data was pooled from births 2014-2018 to women aged 15-44.

A total of 18,646,512 pregnancies were included in the analysis. The average age of the mother was 28.6 years.

Scientists assigned women a risk factor score of 0-4 (for example, 0 for no risk factors, 4 for all 4 risk factors).Over 60% of women had one or more pre-pregnancy Cardiovascular risk factors, 52.5%, 7.3%, 0.3% and 0.02% have 1, 2, 3 and 4 risk factors, respectively.

The study found a gradual link between the high number of risk factors and the complexity of pregnancy with one of four adverse consequences. For example, mothers were 1.12 times more likely to enter the ICU with one risk factor than women without risk factors. There are 1.86 times more chances for the two risk factors. There are 4.24 times more chances for the three risk factors.And 4 people are 5.79 times more likely Risk factor..

All analyzes were adjusted for multiple maternal ages at birth, race / ethnicity, education, antenatal care, childbirth, and childbirth.


Poor maternal heart health can lead to preterm birth, low birth weight infants, and caesarean section.


For more information:
“Relationship between pre-pregnancy cardiovascular risk factor burden and adverse maternal and progeny outcomes” European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (2021). DOI: 10.1093 / eurjpc / zwab121

Quote: Are you thinking of getting pregnant? First, check the risk of heart disease (July 20, 2021) obtained on July 20, 2021 from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-pregnant-heart-disease.html ..

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