More Than Half of U.S. Women Have Poor Heart Health Before Pregnancy

Via Peters

Only about two out of five U.S. women who gave birth in 2019 had good heart health before their pregnancy, with overweight and obesity being the primary risk factors, followed by high blood pressure and diabetes, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the American Heart Association (AHA). Their findings were published February 14 in the journal Circulation.

“Being in good health prior to pregnancy benefits the long-term health of women and their children,” said the lead study author, Natalie A. Cameron, MD, an internal medicine specialist and instructor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, in a press release.

“Unfortunately, these findings about the number of women with poor heart health prior to pregnancy are not surprising — heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.,” says Rachel Urrutia, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist and an assistant professor at the UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who was not involved in the research.

“This study includes overweight and obesity as cardiovascular risk factors, and we know those rates are rising,” says Dr. Urrutia.

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