Women who suffer pregnancy, birth and reproductive problems have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
In new research conducted by a team from Birmingham University, scientists discovered that going through the horrific ordeal of a stillbirth or giving birth prematurely doubles the chances of a woman having heart disease, heart failure, or a stroke later in life.
Furthermore, having pre-eclampsia, which leads to high blood pressure, was found to increase the risk of heart failure by four times. And those with diabetes or high blood pressure while pregnant were 50 per cent more likely to experience cardiovascular issues.
“From the first menstrual cycle to menopause, the reproductive profile of women is associated with their future risk of cardiovascular disease,” the study authors wrote in the British Medical Journal.
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“Policymakers should consider incorporating reproductive risk factors as part of the risk assessment for cardiovascular disease in clinical guidelines.
“Determining whether women with reproductive profiles that place them at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease might be candidates for lifestyle changes, including statin treatment, is essential.”
For their research, the team collected data from 32 previous studies involving more than a million women over the course of a decade or longer.