Wednesday February 19, 2020

Heart Attack Risk on The Rise for Pregnant Women and Death Rate Remains High

Patients should work out a plan with their physicians to monitor and control risk factors during pregnancy so that they can minimize their risk

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Pregnant women
There’s a lot of reticence to include pregnant women in research. Pixabay

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, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, suggest that the trend among many women to have children later in life is one possible reason for the increase, as the3 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.

highlight the importance to women considering pregnancy to know their risk factors for heart disease beforehand,
It highlights the importance to women considering pregnancy to know their risk factors for heart disease beforehand. Pixabay

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.

The researcher said that although the absolute number of heart attacks and deaths from them remain low, the persistence of the relatively high death rate (unchanged at 4.5 per cent of cases) comes despite advances in treating heart attacks with drug-coated stents and improved use of blood-thinning medications to prevent heart-vessel blockages.

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“Our findings highlight the importance to women considering pregnancy to know their risk factors for heart disease beforehand,” said lead author Nathaniel Smilowitz from the varsity.

“These patients should work out a plan with their physicians to monitor and control risk factors during pregnancy so that they can minimize their risk,” Smilowitz noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Exposure to Air Pollution May Trigger Non-Fatal Heart Attack

Air pollution's tiny particles may trigger heart attacks

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Heart attack pollution
Exposure to ambient ultrafine particles common in air pollution may potentially trigger a non-fatal heart attack. Pixabay

Researchers have found that even a few hours’ exposure to ambient ultrafine particles common in air pollution may potentially trigger a non-fatal heart attack.

Myocardial infarction is a major form of cardiovascular disease worldwide. Ultrafine particles (UFP) are 100 nanometres or smaller in size. In urban areas, automobile emissions are the primary source of UFP.

For the study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers investigated the effects of UFP exposure and heart attacks using the number of particles and the particle length and surface area concentrations at hourly intervals of exposure.

“This study confirms something that has long been suspected–air pollution’s tiny particles can play a role in serious heart disease. This is particularly true within the first few hours of exposure,” said the study’s first author Kai Chen, Assistant Professor at Yale University in the US.

Heart attack pollution
The researchers were interested in whether transient UFP exposure could trigger heart attacks and whether alternative metrics such as particle length and surface area concentrations could improve the investigation of UFP-related health effects. Pixabay

UFP constitute a health risk due to their small size, large surface areas per unit of mass, and their ability to penetrate the cells and get into the blood system, the study said.

The researchers were interested in whether transient UFP exposure could trigger heart attacks and whether alternative metrics such as particle length and surface area concentrations could improve the investigation of UFP-related health effects.

The research team examined data from a registry of all non-fatal MI cases in Augsburg, Germany.

The study looked at more than 5,898 non-fatal heart attack patients between 2005 and 2015.

The individual heart attacks were compared against air pollution UFP data on the hour of the heart attack and adjusted for a range of additional factors, such as the day of the week, long-term time trend and socio-economic status.

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“This represents an important step toward understanding the appropriate indicator of ultrafine particles exposure in determining the short-term health effects, as the effects of particle length and surface concentrations were stronger than the ones of particle number concentration and remained similar after adjustment for other air pollutants,” said Chen.

“Our future analyses will examine the combined hourly exposures to both air pollution and extreme temperature. We will also identify vulnerable subpopulations regarding pre-existing diseases and medication intake,” Chen added. (IANS)