A recent study has found that aspirin may help protect women who have a higher risk of cardiovascular events due to preeclampsia.
Previously called toxemia, preeclampsia is a state which can affect pregnant women. It can cause high blood pressure thus increasing the risk of major cardiac problems, seizures or even death. Preeclamptic women may have a high protein level in their urine.
They often also have to swell in the legs, feet, and hands. This state usually appears late in pregnancy, however, it can happen earlier.
Now specialists think that the dangerous problems associated with this condition can be prevented by using aspirin.
Preeclampsia is responsible for increasing the risk of a variety of other health conditions. In the short term, it can cause a life-threatening state called as eclampsia. In this disorder, high blood pressure results in seizures. It can also limit fetal growth and increase the risk of preterm delivery.
Even after delivery, women with this problem are more likely to have cardiac problems, including serious measures such as heart attack or stroke later in life.
Now, a new study published in the journal Neurology proposes women with a preeclampsia history might lower their risk of stroke by taking regular dosages of aspirin.
The researchers of the study found that women under 60 with a history of preeclampsia were less expected to have a stroke or other cardiac events if they were consistent users of aspirin.
A woman was considered a regular user of aspirin if she reported taking aspirin at least 3 times a week, for at least one year following childbirth.
What the study found
The researchers of this study evaluated information collected from 84,000 women. These women were enrolled in the California Teachers Study. Around 4,000 of those women were with a history of preeclampsia.
Among females under the age of 60, women with a preeclampsia history who were regular aspirin users had the same stroke risk as those who never had this disorder.
In contrast, for women with a preeclampsia history who weren’t regular aspirin users had the 50% higher risk of stroke. This study adds to a growing benefit of aspirin for reducing the risk of preeclampsia and other related health problems.
Previous studies have revealed that low aspirin doses can help lower the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women who are at high risk of developing it.
According to the researchers of the study, it’s been presented that in certain high-risk pregnancies, women are required to take low-dose aspirin.
It can help to prevent preeclampsia. But, there is a problem that they generally stop using it after pregnancy or at the end of pregnancy with delivery. So, this study is motivating, as it is the first of its kind which is looking at measures we can do for its prevention.
Though the findings of this study are promising, further research is needed. But, still, it should be kept in mind that this is an observational study. And there is a need to do randomized control trials for its evaluation.
Complications of pregnancy affect your risk of heart disease
In the United States, Preeclampsia is on the rise. Here, it affects around 1 in 25 pregnancies. It helps explanation for the high maternal mortality rate in this country. It also leads to many other cardiac complications, which are principal causes of disability and death among women.
According to the researchers, there is a lot of data presenting that pregnancy is nature’s stress test. And explains the risk of stroke and heart disease in the future for women. They reported that any rise in blood pressure rises a woman’s risk for a variety of problems.
During pregnancy, any hypertension raises the risk of stroke, heart disease, development of diabetes and chronic kidney disease. As a whole, health issues arising during pregnancy can be a warning of future problems.
Women having gestational diabetes during pregnancy are also more expected to develop heart problems in later life. Preterm delivery, miscarriage, and giving stillbirth have also been associated with heightened risk of cardiovascular disease.
In spite of these influences between pregnancy-related circumstances and heart health, many of the tools used to calculate a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease don’t take these problems into account.
Healthy lifestyle habits are important
For the prevention of preeclampsia, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine inspire pregnant women to take 81 milligrams of aspirin per day starting at 12 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. These women were at high risk of the disorder.
Those pregnant women who are at moderate risk of developing preeclampsia may also advantage from taking low aspirin doses.
In the case of preeclampsia or other pregnancy-related problems, talk to your clinician about the effects it might have on your risk of heart disorders.
Make it certain that not just your obstetrician knows your history, but your primary care doctor too. Consider seeing a preventive cardiologist or the one who specializes in women to have your risk and dialogue of what you can do.
Over 80% of heart disease is avoidable and the earlier you start doing things toward prevention, it would be better. However, as these problems often resolve and wane after the childbirth, the conversation generally stops after delivery.
The doctor must encourage you to practice healthy lifestyle habits to help lower risk of your cardiovascular problem. Women should maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet.
Weight retention is a huge problem for pregnant women. So, women should be guided regarding the importance of losing pregnancy weight which is very important.
While you cannot change your family history, you can adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle to considerably lower the following risk factors;
- Overweight or obese
- High blood pressure (more than 140/90 mm Hg)
- High blood triglycerides (a type of fat)
- Low HDL (“good” cholesterol) and high blood sugar
The bottom line
This study found that aspirin may help women whose preeclampsia history puts them at risk for severe cardiac events.
Among women under 60, women with a history of preeclampsia who were regular users of aspirin had the same stroke risk as those who never had this disease.
In contrast, the risk of stroke was 50% higher for women with a preeclampsia history who weren’t regular aspirin users.