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Home Industry News Older mothers have ‘increased heart attack risk’

Older mothers have ‘increased heart attack risk’

30th March 2006

Women who delay having a child until older age are putting themselves at an increased risk of heart attack during pregnancy, a new study has shown.

Scientists from the Duke Medical Center in the US have found that a 30-year-old woman has a sevenfold increased risk of myocardial infarction than a 20-year-old woman when pregnant.

The risk for a 40-year-old woman is 30 times greater than a woman in her twenties.

The team analysed data from a national survey comparing mortality rates and heart risk factors for 12 million pregnant women in the US, between 2000 and 2002.

They found that heart attacks affected around six out of every 100,000 women. However, there are concerns this number could increase as the average age of new mothers increases.

Report author Dr Andra James, explained: “Women should understand the potential dangers that come from pregnancy at a higher age, and should change their lifestyle to lower their blood pressure or control it with medication.

“Until now, doctors haven’t worried about heart attack in pregnancy because women were not old enough for it to be a concern.”

The main cause for heart attacks in older women is thought to be due to a hardening of the arteries and the heart’s reduced capacity to handle the stress of pregnancy.

track© Adfero Ltd

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