The number of pregnancies you’ve had can determine your risk of heart disease

A new study published in the journal Menopause reveals that a woman’s risk of coronary artery disease can be predicted by looking at her reproductive life.
getting pregnant with low AMH level
Your reproductive health says a lot about your risk of heart disease. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Published: 5 Aug 2020, 16:02 pm IST
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Heart is one of the most important organs in our body, but due to our sedentary lifestyle we tend to mess up its functioning. CAD or coronary artery disease is the most common type of cardiovascular disease and according to this new study it bears increased risk for women.

According to a study results published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) is determined by certain reproductive risk factors. 

What is CAD?
In CAD, our arteries tend to shrink and lower the blood supply to the heart. Due to this chest pain and heart attack are witnessed. It is commonly known that women have different symptoms than men when it comes to heart disease. And since most traditional health studies focus on men, women are often misdiagnosed or the diagnosis and treatment is delayed, creating a greater risk for an adverse cardiac event or death.

Reproductive life span of a woman matters a lot, says this study
This new study is one of the first known larger studies (involving nearly 1,500 postmenopausal women) to consider a broad range of reproductive risk factors for CAD. These include pregnancy factors, such as the number and type of pregnancy and age at first birth, as well as ovarian function factors including age at menarche, age at menopause, and reproductive life span.

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The researchers concluded that multigravidity (three or more pregnancies), early menopause, and a shorter reproductive life span are independent risk factors for angiographic obstructive CAD in postmenopausal women.

This study is helpful in understanding the symptoms of CAD
“This study expands our knowledge about the link between reproductive factors such as early menopause and shorter reproductive life span and increased cardiovascular risk. Indeed, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that early loss of ovarian function results in accelerated aging. Future research should be directed toward identifying ways to delay ovarian aging,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director. 

Study results appear in the article ‘Reproductive risk factors for angiographic obstructive coronary artery disease among postmenopausal women’ in the journal. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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