Women who have high-risk pregnancies or complications in childbirth are up to eight times more likely to have heart disease later in life, statistics suggest. But many mothers – and their doctors – are unaware of the danger.
Emerging research shows heart disease is a long-term threat for women who develop diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy, for example. Also at higher risk: mothers whose babies were born too small or too soon.
Yet doctors typically do not advise these mothers about their risk or counsel them to watch for heart disease symptoms, says Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, cardiologist and director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles. read more