Premature delivery increases risk of heart disease in mothers

Mothers who deliver preterm are at an increased risk of developing heart diseases, compared to women who deliver babies at full-term, according to a new study.

The researchers found that women who have delivered prematurely before the 37th week have a 40% increased risk of developing heart disease. This is besides the fact that she has also to nurse a child born early and suffering many health issues. Women who delivered even before their 32nd week, are double at the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Delivering a preterm infant may be an early warning signal of high risk for cardiovascular disease,” said lead author Lauren Tanz, doctoral student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“Since cardiovascular risk develops over a lifetime, it’s not too early for these women to adopt a heart healthy lifestyle,” Tanz added.

For the study, published in the journal Circulation, the team reviewed data on 70,182 women to examine the association between premature delivery and heart disease.

In addition, the risks were found stronger for women who delivered more than one preterm infant, the researchers said. The heightened risk of cardiovascular disease was true even after preterm deliveries that were not complicated by hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

While data reveals that 31% of women will die from cardiovascular disease, that figure rises to 36 for those who deliver 3-7 weeks early and up to 60% for those who deliver 8 or more weeks before term, the researchers noted


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