Warning to mums over common condition that ‘increases risk of deadly heart attack for 20 years’
WOMEN with preeclampsia during pregnancy remain at higher risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes for at least two decades after infection, new research suggests.
The results come from a study of over 1 million pregnant women for up to 39 years postpartum.
It has been found that women with this condition, which causes high blood pressure during pregnancy, are four times more likely to have a heart attack and three times more likely to have a stroke within 10 years of giving birth.
And they remained twice as likely to have heart problems as those without preeclampsia up to 20 years later.
Study author Dr. Sara Hallum, from the University of Copenhagen, said the results suggest mothers with the condition should be monitored long after birth.
“Prevention should begin within a decade of delivery, such as treating high blood pressure and educating women about risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking and inactivity,” she added.
Preeclampsia affects one in 25 pregnancies in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation.
The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
What is preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a condition that affects pregnant women, usually after the 20th week or right after their baby is born.
Early signs include high blood pressure (hypertension) and protein in the urine (proteinuria), according to the NHS website.
Mild preeclampsia affects up to six percent of pregnancies, while severe cases develop in up to two percent.
The exact cause of the condition is not known at this time, but it is believed to occur when there is a problem with the placenta.
There are also several factors that increase the likelihood of getting this condition, including a family history, being over the age of 40, or expecting multiple babies.
What are the symptoms?
According to the NHS, symptoms of preeclampsia include:
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, face and hands
- strong headache
- vision problems
- Pain just below the ribs
However, many people don’t notice the signs of preeclampsia, which means it’s usually picked up during routine prenatal appointments.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7227642/mum-heart-attack-pre-eclampsia/ Warning to mums over common condition that ‘increases risk of deadly heart attack for 20 years’