The risk of becoming a victim to heart disease increased if the infant died in the womb or its growth was restricted by any external factors. "The risk of premature cardiovascular disease is higher after a maternal placental syndrome, especially when the fetus is adversely affected," said Dr Joel Ray, a lead researcher of the study. "We believe the maternal placental syndrome should be considered as an additional risk factor for cardiovascular disease."
Dr. Ray says that women should have their blood pressure checked six months after the birth to know if it within normal limits. Heart disease or cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and a high blood pressure, obesity, raised cholesterol levels, smoking and insulin resistance are all high risk factors for the development of the disease. In the current study, the scientists monitored over 1 million healthy women in Canada and probed for a link between placenta problems and the development of premature heart disease. Among these women, around 75,000 were diagnosed with maternal placental syndrome. This syndrome includes the condition where the blood vessels within the placenta are blocked, thus signaling a difficult pregnancy. "With a pandemic of obesity in our midst, including a more than doubling of the number of obese women at antenatal booking, we should try to ensure that women are a healthy weight before they enter their reproductive years," Dr. Ray concluded.
The details of the study are published in an article in the latest issue of The Lancet