Older mothers face increased risk of stroke, heart attack
Having children when older was linked to increased risks of complications for the mother and her children. A new study suggests there that other risks associated with late pregnancy i.e. over 40 could increase risks of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.
U.S. based research suggests women who have later pregnancies should be made aware of potential cardiovascular risks. Dr. Adnan I. Qureshi, director, Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Institute, St. Cloud, MN, says their findings are of great importance, given that more women are opting to have children after the age of 40.
A 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that the pregnancy rate in the US for women aged 40-44 increased from 11 per 1,000 women in 1990 to 19 per 1,000 in 2009.
“We already knew that older women were more likely than younger women to experience health problems during their pregnancy,”
says Dr. Qureshi.
“Now, we know that the consequences of that later pregnancy stretch years into the future.”
Their findings, were presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016, Los Angeles, the team analysed data of 72,221 women aged 50-79 who were part of the Women’s Health Initiative Study. 3,306 of these, reported becoming pregnant at the age of 40 or older, many influenced by career pressures.
Rates of stroke, heart attack and death from cardiovascular diseases were assessed over a period of 12 years and compared between women who became pregnant aged 40 and older and those who had children at a younger age.
Women should be made aware of cardiovascular risks’ with later pregnancies
Women who became pregnant at the age of 40 or older were found to have a 1.4% higher risk of ischemic stroke and a 0.5% higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
Researchers found an increased risk of ischemic stroke (clot caused), Hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed), heart attack and death from all forms of cardiovascular disease in women who got pregnant at 40 or older.
Ischemic stroke occurs where blood flow to the brain is blocked and is the commonest form of stroke, accounting for approx. 87% of all cases. Hemorrhagic stroke accounts for the remainder and occur when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds.
Researchers also found that women with later pregnancies had a 0.5% greater risk for heart attack and a 1.6% greater risk of death from all forms of cardiovascular disease …..more