Women with high-risk pregnancies far more prone to heart disease

Women who have high-risk pregnancies or complications in childbirth are up to eight times more likely to suffer heart disease later in life. And many mothers — and their doctors — are unaware of the danger. Emerging research shows heart disease is a long-term threat for women who develop diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy, for example, or those whose babies are born prematurely or precariously small.

Yet doctors do not typically advise women about their risk or counsel them to watch for symptoms, said Noel Bairey Merz, a cardiologist and director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles. Bairey Merz said doctors can see heart attacks and strokes coming, often 10 or 20 years ahead of time, if they are on the lookout. “This isn’t rocket science,” she said. “We just have to figure out how we can find the women who are at risk.”

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How Heart Disease Differs in Women

Gender can play a role in risk factors, symptoms.

Heart disease does not discriminate. It is the leading cause of death in the United States for men and women, claiming more than 600,000 lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But there are gender differences that women need to be aware of.

During a heart attack, “time is muscle,” says Richard Krasuski, MD, a cardiologist in Cleveland, Ohio. “The quicker you get treated, the more heart you can salvage.” Being able to spot the first sign of an attack is critical, but that sign may not be one you typically think of.

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Meat-Heavy Diets May Raise Older Women’s Heart Risks

Vegetable protein sources appear safer….

Women over 50 who follow a high-protein diet could have a higher risk for heart failure, especially if most of their protein comes from meat, researchers report. The study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect. However, postmenopausal women with the most protein in their diet had a 60 percent increased risk of heart failure, compared with women who ate little protein, the study found. The findings were presented Monday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in New Orleans.

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Are We Reaching The End Of The Trend For Longer, Healthier Lives?