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Pregnancy Heart Health Carries Into Later Life, According To New Study

by | August 6, 2019

A new study has shown that women who improve heart health during pregnancy have reduced lifelong incidence of cardiovascular disease compared against women who had compromised heart health during pregnancy.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, followed approximately 2,000 women who had poor cardiovascular health markers, symptoms of a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, or were in “ideal” health according to the health factors used in the study. The participants were assessed in the first trimester of their pregnancy, and then followed up by the researchers nine to ten years postpartum.

The findings indicated that women who had better heart health during pregnancy had less incidence of subclinical atherosclerosis later in life than those who had poor heart health or were suffering with a hypertensive disorder during pregnancy. The women who were either assessed as in “ideal” health at the beginning of the study, or made positive changes during their pregnancy, had less incidence of subclinical atherosclerosis in the ten-year follow up assessment.

The study concluded that doctors should have discussions with pregnant women about their heart health during the first trimester as pregnancy is an “incentive for women to improve lifestyle.”

pregnant belly hands
The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (Source: 10 FACE / Shutterstock.com)

Indicators

The study examined three health behaviors and four health factors of the participants to determine their health at the beginning of their pregnancy, and again at the follow up ten years later.

The researchers looked at whether the participants smoked, what their diet consisted of, and how much physical activity they did. They also measured the glucose levels, blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol of participants.

Did your pregnancy inspire you to prioritize your health? Let us know in the comments below.

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