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

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Women's Health
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Women More Likely to Survive Lung Cancer After Surgery: StudyCould the Pill Reduce Asthma Attacks?Sitting Raises Women's Odds for Heart FailureMediterranean Diet Cuts Women's Odds for DiabetesAHA News: Why People Fear Performing CPR on Women – and What to Do About ItMore Childbearing Women Having Suicidal Thoughts: StudyCOVID in Pregnancy Won't Affect Obstetric Outcomes: StudyIVF Won't Raise Ovarian Cancer Risk: StudyAir Pollution May Harm Older Women's BrainsU.S. Leads Wealthy Nations in Pregnancy-Related Deaths'Couch Potato' Time Rises Sharply After Women RetirePre-Pregnancy High Blood Pressure Rates RisingAHA News: Early Menopause Predicts Early Heart Trouble for White WomenObamacare Boosted Health of Poor Women Before, After PregnancyThinking of HRT for Hot Flashes? Here's the Latest GuidanceFor Some Women, Postpartum Depression Lingers for YearsAHA News: Heart Attacks Linked to Pregnancy on the Rise, Most Often in Women 30 and OlderHeart Conditions Could Raise Risk of Torn Aorta During PregnancyCOVID-19 More Common in Pregnant Hispanics Than Other Moms-to-Be: StudyNurses Can Make the Difference for New Moms' BreastfeedingOne Big Reason Women May Be Less Prone to COVID-19Most U.S. Women Under 50 Use Contraception: ReportFDA Warns of Dangers of Common Painkillers During PregnancyWomen at Higher Risk When Heart Attack Strikes the YoungCancer Takes Heavy Toll on Women's Work and Finances: StudyFor Many Pregnant Women, COVID-19 Has Prolonged EffectWomen's Reproductive Health Tied to Later Heart DiseaseSome Breast Surgery Won't Harm Ability to BreastfeedRadiation Plus Surgery May Be Best Against an Early Form of Breast CancerIrregular, Long Periods Tied to Shorter Life SpanTough Menopause May Signal Future Heart WoesHPV Vaccine Proves Its Mettle Against Cervical CancerAHA News: Despite Same Symptoms, Men and Women Don't Always Get Same Mini-Stroke DiagnosisMore U.S. Women Using Marijuana to Help Ease Menopause: StudyWomen Get Worse Care for Heart AttackBreast Cancer Treatment Comes Later, Lasts Longer for Black WomenFewer U.S. Women Aware of Their Heart RisksBaby's Heart Rate Reflects Mom's Mental HealthIs an Early Form of Breast Cancer More Dangerous Than Thought?1 Woman in 5 With Migraine Avoiding Pregnancy: StudyAHA News: Young Women May Face Greater Stroke Risk Than Young MenExperts Offer Guidance on a Common But Underreported Menopause SyndromePregnancy May Delay MSCould Antibiotics Make Breast Milk Less Healthy for Babies?AHA News: Researchers Explore How COVID-19 Affects Heart Health in Black WomenThere's No Safe Amount of Caffeine in Pregnancy: ReportAHA News: Preeclampsia May Double a Woman's Chances for Later Heart FailureIn-Person Pregnancy Checks Won't Raise COVID RiskCan Women With Early Breast Cancer Skip Post-Op Radiation?'Morning Sickness' Doesn't Stick to the A.M., Study Confirms
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.