611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

LaFrontera
member support line
1-520-279-5737
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net
Women's Health
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Fertility Drugs Won't Raise Breast Cancer RiskMigraines Tied to Higher Odds for Complications in PregnancyWomen, Take These Key Steps to Good Urological HealthAre Women Absorbing Toxins From Their Makeup?Race Doesn't Affect Risk for Genes That Raise Breast Cancer RiskHealthy Levels of Vitamin D May Boost Breast Cancer OutcomesHeavy Drinking Could Lower a Woman's Odds of ConceptionAHA News: Asian and Pacific Islander Women May Be at Greatest Risk for Preeclampsia ComplicationsFibroid Pain, Bleeding Is Driving Thousands of Women to the ERA Woman's Diet Might Help Her Avoid Breast CancerBreast Cancer's Spread Is More Likely in Black Women, Study FindsDrug Lynparza Could Help Fight Some Early-Stage Breast CancersAHA News: Menopause Before 40 Tied to Higher Stroke RiskHealthy Eating Lowers Pregnancy Complication RiskAortic Tears Are Even More Deadly for Women, Study FindsFDA Warns of Bogus Fertility Claims for Some SupplementsAHA News: Surprisingly Few Women May Have Good Heart Health Before PregnancyOsteoporosis Might Also Raise a Woman's Odds for Hearing LossModerate Use of Hair Relaxers Won't Raise Black Women's Cancer Risk: StudyMammography Rates Plummeted During Pandemic'Yo-Yo' Dieting May Mean Sleepless Nights for WomenGluten Doesn't Trigger 'Brain Fog' for Women Without Celiac Disease: StudyHPV Vaccination Is Lowering U.S. Cervical Cancer RatesSmoggy Air Might Raise Black Women's Odds for FibroidsAHA News: Preterm Deliveries May Pose Long-Term Stroke Risk for MothersWomen Get Help Later Than Men When Heart Attack StrikesLots of Sugary Drinks Doubles Younger Women's Colon Cancer Risk: StudyHeart Risk Factors Show Up Earlier in U.S. Black WomenBetter Access to Birth Control Boosts School Graduation RatesA Vitamin Could Be Key to Women's Pain After Knee ReplacementFreezing Tumors Could Be New Treatment for Low-Risk Breast CancersGiving Birth During the Pandemic? Facts You Need to KnowDo Your Genes Set You Up for Hot Flashes?Common Complication of Pregnancy Tied to Higher Stroke Risk LaterMigraine Before Menopause Could Be Linked to High Blood Pressure LaterA Woman's Weight Might Affect Her Odds for MiscarriageBreast Cancer Over 70: How Much Treatment Is Enough?Nurses Are Dying From Suicide at Higher RatesUrinary Incontinence Surgery Won't Raise a Woman's Cancer RiskOvarian Cancer Diagnosis Can Take Big Toll on Women's Mental HealthObesity May Help Trigger Heavier Periods: StudyWomen More Prone to Concussion's Long-Term Harms: StudyMammogram Rates Have Rebounded Since Pandemic Began, But Concerns RemainNew Treatment May Help Women in Early Menopause Remain FertileHeart Disease Gaining on Cancer as Leading Cause of Death in Young WomenWhat Is Endometriosis, and How Is It Treated?OCD May Be More Common in New Moms Than ThoughtAn IUD Could Ward Off Endometrial Cancer in Women at RiskEven a Little Coffee in Pregnancy Could Impact Newborn's Weight: StudyDrug Boosts Survival for Women With Advanced Ovarian Cancer
Questions and AnswersLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Medical Disorders
Wellness and Personal Development
Mental Disorders

AHA News: Heart Attacks Linked to Pregnancy on the Rise, Most Often in Women 30 and Older


HealthDay News
Updated: Oct 27th 2020

new article illustration

By Maria Elena Fernandez

American Heart Association News

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- Pregnancy-related heart attacks — especially in the period after childbirth — are on the rise in women who are 30 or older, according to new research.

Although still considered uncommon, a study of nearly 11.3 million records for pregnancy, labor and postpartum cases showed that nearly three-fourths of the 913 women who had heart attacks from 2003 to 2015 were 30 years or older.

The increase in acute myocardial infarction, the medical name for a heart attack, "has occurred lockstep with increases in maternal age, as well as a rise in obesity," according to authors of the study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association. It also may be related to increases before pregnancy in other traditional heart disease risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.

Of the women who had heart attacks in the study, 37% experienced it during pregnancy, 12% during labor and delivery, and 51% during postpartum.

Pregnancy is a cardiovascular stress test, said senior author Dr. Kathleen Stergiopoulos, director of ambulatory echocardiography at St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center in Roslyn, New York. In a normal pregnancy, blood pressure decreases most commonly in the first and second trimester and then increases to pre-pregnancy levels by the third trimester.

"People often forget about the postpartum period but that's a period of high risk because of changes in the maternal cardiovascular system," she said. "Most patients have left the hospital by the time symptoms begin. With a new baby at home, the last place mothers want to be is back in the hospital.

"Could I be having a heart attack or could I be having a stroke is almost not on a woman's radar, but it's especially not on a young woman's radar," said Stergiopoulos who has been studying heart disease in pregnancy for 12 years.

Although the cases remain uncommon, Stergiopoulos cautions it is essential to be aware of the heart attack risk factors during pregnancy, which include known coronary artery disease, gestational high blood pressure disorders, high cholesterol, blood clotting conditions, substance abuse history, smoking history and obesity.

She recommends women with cardiovascular disease, or at high risk of developing it during pregnancy, work with a team of specialists ideally before pregnancy, during and after delivery.

This field of cardio-obstetrics is growing due, in part, to the increasing number of women who are becoming mothers at older ages and who have other existing heart conditions or cardiovascular risks.

"As we get older, when we're thinking of pregnancy, we really do need those close discussions with your gynecologist about what the risks are," agreed Dr. Laxmi Mehta, a non-invasive cardiologist at The Ohio State University in Columbus who was not involved in the study.

"Pregnancy can place a lot of stress on the body, especially your heart," said Mehta, who led the writing of an American Heart Association scientific statement published in May calling for pregnant women with heart disease to be cared for by specialized cardio-obstetric teams.

"If you have an underlying cardiac history, you really need to have a cardio-obstetrics team — a cardiologist, an obstetrician, an anesthesiologist, the right team of players to help carry you through to the end."

Stergiopoulos said future research should specifically examine socioeconomic status and race as other potential risk factors for heart disease during pregnancy.

"Interestingly, public insurance — Medicaid insurance — came up as a predictor of (heart attacks). So, there's likely a socioeconomic factor, but it was not fully explored," she said.

"There was also indication that Black race was a factor, another area that requires further exploration. This study mainly focused on risk factors and timing, which was a great starting point. I view this study as a great signal rather than a solved puzzle."

American Heart Association News covers heart and brain health. Not all views expressed in this story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email editor@heart.org.