Thursday November 21, 2019

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.

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)

Next Story

Listen To Music To Reduce Cardiac Stress While Driving

Listening to music while driving can reduce cardiac stress

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Reducing stress
Researchers found that listening to music while driving reduces cardiac stress. Pixabay

Stress while driving is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac complications such as heart attack, but now researchers have found that listening to music while driving can reduce cardiac stress.

“We found that cardiac stress in the participants in our experiment was reduced by listening to music while they were driving,” said study lead author Vitor Engracia Valenti, Professor at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil.

For the study, published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, researchers analysed the effects of music on cardiac stress in five women between the ages of 18 and 23.

“We opted to assess women who were not habitual drivers because people who drive frequently and have had a license for a long time are better adapted to stressful situations in traffic,” Valenti explained.

The volunteers were assessed on two days, in different situations and in a random order.

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Researchers analysed the effects of music on cardiac stress in five women between the ages of 18 and 23. Pixabay

On one day, they drove for 20 minutes at rush hour (5:30-6:30 pm) along a three km route in a busy district of Marilia, a medium-sized city in the northwest of Sao Paulo, without listening to music.

On the other day, the volunteers drove the same route at the same time of day but listened to instrumental music on a CD player coupled to the car radio.

The use of earbuds or headphones while driving is a traffic offense.

“To increase the degree of traffic stress, we asked them to drive a car they did not own. Driving their own car might help,” Valenti said.

The level of cardiac stress was estimated by measuring heart rate variability using a heart rate monitor attached to the participant’s chest.

Defined as fluctuations in the intervals between consecutive heart beats, heart rate variability is influenced by the autonomic nervous system.

The more active the sympathetic nervous system, the faster the heart beats, while the parasympathetic nervous system tends to slow it down.

“Elevated sympathetic nervous system activity reduces heart rate variability, whereas more intense parasympathetic nervous system activity increases it,” Valenti said.

stress
The level of cardiac stress was estimated by measuring heart rate variability using a heart rate monitor attached to the participant’s chest. Pixabay

Analysis showed a reduction in heart rate variability in the volunteers who drove without music, indicating a lower level of parasympathetic nervous system activity but sympathetic nervous system activation.

Conversely, heart rate variability increased in the drivers who listened to music, indicating a higher level of parasympathetic nervous system activity and a reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity.

However, the sample size used in the study was too small but significant.

“Listening to music attenuated the moderate stress overload the volunteers experienced as they drove,” Valenti said.

Also Read- Here’s Why Women Should Not Dine After 6 PM

“Listening to music could be such a preventive measure in favour of cardiovascular health in situations of intense stress such as driving during rush hour,” he said. (IANS)