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Increasing Numbers of Pregnant Women Also Have Heart Disease

Increasing Numbers of Pregnant Women Also Have Heart Disease

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Many more American women with heart disease are choosing to have babies, a new study finds.

Researchers looked at more than 81,000 women with heart disease from 2003 to 2012. They found that the proportion who had babies rose 24 percent during that time.

“We learned that in addition to the high and growing prevalence of women with heart disease delivering babies, the reasons are mainly related to increases in women delivering babies with diseases such as cardiomyopathy, adult congenital heart disease, and pulmonary hypertension,” study author Dr. Kathleen Stergiopoulos said in a Stony Brook University news release. She is a specialist in heart disease in women at the Stony Brook Heart Institute.

The researchers also found that major heart problems, such as heart failure and heart rhythm problems, in pregnant women with heart disease increased by nearly 19 percent.

The findings may lead to greater awareness of heart disease in women of childbearing age. The study also shows an increased need for preconception counseling for pregnant women with heart disease, the researchers said.

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The research also points to the need for a multidisciplinary approach to labor and delivery that should include a cardiologist for women who have heart disease.

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