Afterward, they were able to estimate the risk of developing six different major cardiovascular conditions within two years of childbirth. These conditions included ischemic heart disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia/cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, and stroke.
People with prenatal depression were found to have an 83% higher risk of developing ischemic heart disease within two years of delivery as opposed to people without depression.
Additionally, it was revealed that people with prenatal depression have a 60% higher risk of developing arrhythmia/cardiac arrest, a 61% higher risk of developing cardiomyopathy, and a 32% higher risk of receiving a new diagnosis of high blood pressure.
The researchers also conducted an analysis that excluded people with high blood pressure during pregnancy and found that these individuals had an 85% higher risk of developing arrhythmia/cardiac arrest and an 84% higher risk of developing ischemic heart disease.
Stroke and cardiomyopathy risk was also increased, with a 42% and 52% higher risk, respectively.
“Even after excluding those with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, those with depression during pregnancy still had a significantly higher risk of ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia, stroke, cardiomyopathy, and new chronic hypertension postpartum,” explained Ackerman-Banks.
In high-income nations, including the United States, cardiovascular disease is currently the leading cause of pregnancy-related mortalities. Other pregnancy-related factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease development may include a rise in stress-related hormones and chronic inflammation.
So, the researchers have recommended that any woman diagnosed with prenatal depression take proactive steps to preserve long-term cardiovascular health. To get started, you can speak with your primary care doctor and get screened for other risk factors in order to implement any prevention strategies.
“They should also be screened for Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, and implement an exercise regimen, healthy diet, and quit smoking,” Ackerman-Banks added.
To read the study’s complete findings, visit the link here.
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