New York, July 22: The risk of having a heart attack while pregnant, giving birth, or during two months after delivery, continues to increase, a US-based study has found. The findings suggest that the trend among many women to have children later in life is one possible reason for the increase, as the heart attack risk rises with age overall, and especially during pregnancy. “Our analysis, the largest review in a decade, serves as an important reminder of how stressful pregnancy can be on the female body and heart, causing a lot of physiological changes, and potentially unmasking risk factors that can lead to heart attack,” said co-author Sripal Bangalore from the New York University Langone Health.
According to the researchers, an increased number of women are obese or have diabetes, which are the key risk factors for a heart attack. For the study, the researchers examined 49,829,753 births recorded in hospitals — where the majority of deliveries in the US take place — and found that 1,061 heart attacks happened during labour and delivery. They also found that another 922 women were hospitalized for myocardial infarction before birth, and 2,390 heart attacks occurred during the recovery period after birth. (IANS)