Pregnancy and adverse outcomes
Changes occur in the body of a pregnant woman that contribute to the development of the fetus and prepare the expectant mother for breastfeeding. These changes can lead to physiological stress that can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes. These include gestational diabetes, premature birth, pregnancy loss, placental abruption, and a number of other problems. According to American statistics, up to 20% of pregnant women face them.
Adverse pregnancy outcomes usually develop against a background of predisposing factors. For example, gestational diabetes is more common in women who have developed tissue resistance to insulin before pregnancy and have a family history of diabetes.
Adverse pregnancy outcomes and CVD
Some of the adverse pregnancy outcomes are associated with the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in women in later life, according to American cardiologists.
“Adverse pregnancy outcomes are associated with women developing hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disasters, including heart attacks and strokes, many years after pregnancy,” said Nisha Parikh (Niche I… Parikh), professor at the University of California at San Francisco, chairman of the scientific statement committee.
Six dangerous adverse pregnancy outcomes for the heart and blood vessels:
- High blood pressure during pregnancy (gestational hypertension) increases the likelihood of CVD later in life by an average of 67% and the risk of stroke by 83%.
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure and impaired function of the kidneys and other vital organs) is associated with a 2.7-fold increase in the risk of CVD.
- Gestational diabetes increases the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus by 10 times and CVD by 68%.
- Premature birth (up to 37 weeks) is associated with an almost doubled risk of death from CVD.
- Detachment of the placenta (discharge from the wall of the uterus before delivery) is associated with an 82% increased risk of CVD.
- Stillbirth is associated with a doubled CVD risk.
Prevention of CVD before and after pregnancy
In a scientific statement, the scientists emphasized the importance of preventing the listed adverse pregnancy outcomes and early prevention of CVD.
Among the examples of effective ways to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes, scientists cite healthy eating. In women who adhere to it for three years before pregnancy, the risk of such complications is reduced.
“Women who have experienced poor pregnancy outcomes should start following a heart-healthy diet, monitor sleep, and increase physical activity. They need to continue this way of life in the future. These are the most important lifestyle changes that are needed to prevent CVD, ”Parikh said.
In the document, scientists recalled that breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of CVD and type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.
Scientists suggest that doctors monitor women during the first months after giving birth to screen for symptoms of CVD. When interviewing women to assess cardiovascular risk, doctors should remember to ask about the six adverse pregnancy outcomes listed in the document.