Saturday August 18, 2018

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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According to the researchers, an increased number of women are obese or have diabetes, which are the key risk factors for a heart attack.
According to the researchers, an increased number of women are obese or have diabetes, which are the key risk factors for a heart attack. Pixabay
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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.

Also Read: Being Positive During Pregnancy May Lead to Kids Being in Shape: Study

“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)

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Know Your ‘Heart Age’ to Avert Attack

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking

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For the study, the researchers used data on several thousand healthy youth aged between 17 and 21 years who participated in the ongoing Children of the 90s study.
For the study, the researchers used data on several thousand healthy youth aged between 17 and 21 years who participated in the ongoing Children of the 90s study. Pixabay

You are more likely to adopt healthy lifestyle if you know your ‘Heart Age’ rather than just knowing the “chances” of your developing a cardiovascular disease, claims a study.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s biggest killer, but doctors have long struggled to explain risk factors to patients in a way that encourages them to change their behaviour — thus reducing risk.

Risk scores for diseases such as CVD are usually presented as a “percent chance” of contracting the disease within the next 10 years.

Researchers at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, carried out the study amongst 3,153 patients, who were randomly assigned to one of three groups before completing an annual health assessment.

One group was then presented with their chances of contracting CVD expressed as a “percentage risk”, while another received the same information expressed as their estimated “Heart Age”.

electrocardiogram
Representational image. Pixabay

A third control group only received general guidance on healthy living. Follow-up measurements were recorded a year later during the subsequent annual health assessment.

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking.

“We know that traditional risks scores can be confusing. We wanted to test whether using the Heart Age Calculator to talk to patients about their CVD risk would have an effect on motivating them to adopt healthier lifestyles and, in turn, reduce their risk of developing CVD,” said Pedro Tauler, the lead author of the study.

Also Read: Smokers Lack Motivation, Get Tired Easily

The results showed that patients who had been told their CVD risk (both as a percentage or Heart Age) demonstrated significant decreases in their risk scores compared to the control group, with improvements being greatest in the Heart Age group.

Quitting rate for smokers was four times greater in the Heart Age group compared to those who received the traditional percentage risk scores.

“This would suggest that the mere fact of presenting the patients with information that is easy to understand has a positive effect in engaging them to take preventive action,” said Tauler. (IANS)