Heart Attacks in Pregnant Women and New Moms Are on the Rise

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Heart attack risk in U.S. women during pregnancy, birth, and the two-month postpartum period increased 25 percent from 2002 to 2014, say researchers at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine in New York City.

The NYU researchers examined data on 49,829,753 hospital births and determined that 922 women had heart attacks while they were pregnant, 1,061 during labor and delivery, and 2,390 during recovery after giving birth. While heart attack rates during and after pregnancy and delivery remain low, according to the researchers, the heart-attack death rate in these women is relatively high and unchanged at about 4.5 percent, in spite of improvements in treatments.

Possible reasons for the increased heart attack risk in pregnant women and new mothers include the trend toward having children later in life, when the risk for heart attacks is higher, and the increase in risk factors like obesity and diabetes. It also may be related, in part, to improvements in the ability to diagnose heart attacks.

Sourced from: Mayo Clinic Proceedings