Mothers have higher risk of heart disease, stroke

Washington: Though motherhood is the most divine feeling for every woman, women who have given birth have greater chance of developing heart disease and stroke than those who had never given birth, as per the findings of a new study, which appeared in the journal European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

“The mechanisms underlying the associations we observed are complex. Pregnancy may lead to inflammation in the body, and the accumulation of fat around the abdomen, in the blood, and in the arteries. These changes could have permanent effects on the cardiovascular system, leading to a higher risk of heart and stroke later in life,” says Dongming Wang, a researcher.

The overall analysis has identified a significant association between ever giving birth and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Women who had given birth had 14 per cent higher chance of developing heart disease or stroke than those who had never given birth.

During the study it was also found that each birth was associated with a 4 per cent higher likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, regardless of body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and income level.

“Doctors have a role to play here, women should know that having children may raise their chance of future heart disease or stroke and that more pregnancies could be increasingly risky, but the good news is that there is a lot that women can do to prevent cardiovascular disease,” says Wang.

Pregnancy is a good time to get rid of bad lifestyle habits. So quit smoking, exercise regularly, eat healthy food, and keep weight gain under control. Do more exercise to reduce abdominal fat, and watch the fat content in your diet to keep blood lipids at a healthy level.