Women who have had problems with the placenta during pregnancy are at an increasing risk of early heart disease, according to a study, reports BBC online.
Placenta is a tube through which the developing fetus eives oxygen and nutrients from the mother and gets rid of waste products.
Doctor Joel Ray and his team at the University of Toronto studied over a million women who were free from cardiovascular disease before they had their first baby.. They followed what happened to the women for an average of nine years after giving birth and recorded the presence of cardiovascular disease
The researchers diagnosed about 75,000 women with 'maternal placental syndrome' that include suffering from high-blood pressure during pregnancy, premature detachment of the placenta from the wall of the uterus, causing bleeding or an area of dead tissue in the placenta due to blocked circulation in the area.
They found that women who had maternal placental syndrome had double the relative risk of premature cardiovascular disease. The women experienced heart problems at an average age of 38.
The risk was further increased if the woman's baby had restricted growth or died in the womb, or if the woman had pre-existing risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as tobacco smoking, it said.
Women should try to maintain a healthy weight before, during and after pregnancy, the researchers suggest.
Ray said: 'We should try to ensure that women have a healthy weight before they enter reproductive years.'
He said maternal placental syndrome should now be considered as an additional risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women.
Ellen Mason of the British Heart Foundation said: 'It was important for women to think about how their lifestyle could affect their own health and that of their baby.'
'The best way for a mum to look after her own health and her baby is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.'