Pregnancy and Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke

Pregnancy and Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke

This is a very important topic for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.


Preeclampsia is a condition that can occur during the second half of pregnancy. It’s characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby.

Preeclampsia affects between 5% and 8% of all pregnancies; however, it’s more common among older women–those who are over 35 years old have twice as much risk as younger women do.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It’s not the same as type 2 diabetes, which is typically diagnosed later in life and can be managed through diet, exercise and medication. Gestational diabetes often goes away after your baby is born but can lead to serious health problems if it isn’t treated properly.

Gestational diabetes affects about 3% to 5% of all pregnancies in the United States–that’s about half a million women each year! This means that if you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant soon, it’s important to know how gestational diabetes affects your body and what you can do about it (or prevent it).

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Hypertension is a condition where the blood pressure is higher than normal. It can be mild or severe, but it can have serious consequences if it isn’t treated.

High blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy increases your risk for heart disease and stroke later in life. Pregnant women who have high blood pressure need to take special care of themselves so that they stay healthy during this time.

Cardiac problems as a result of pregnancy complications

Cardiac problems as a result of pregnancy complications

Cardiac problems can occur as a result of pregnancy complications, but they can also occur as a result of the normal pregnancy process. Cardiac problems include heart failure, arrhythmias, and heart attacks. Cardiac problems are life-threatening if not treated in time.

Cardiovascular changes during normal pregnancy

Cardiovascular changes during normal pregnancy can be divided into three stages:

  • The first trimester, or first 13 weeks of pregnancy, is characterized by an increase in blood volume and heart rate. As you grow larger and your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, it puts a strain on your heart and lungs. To compensate for this extra work load, your body increases its production of red blood cells so that more oxygen can be delivered throughout the body–this helps explain why many pregnant women often feel tired during this time period. During this stage of cardiovascular changes during normal pregnancy (and any other), it’s important to heed any symptoms related to high blood pressure or preeclampsia (a condition characterized by high levels of protein in urine). If left untreated these conditions can lead up til death!

Obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factors

Obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factors

Obesity is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with other health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol levels, and kidney disease. If you’re obese or overweight–meaning your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 25–you may be at higher risk of developing these conditions.

A person’s BMI is calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared:

  • 20 to 24 = normal weight
  • 25 to 29 = overweight
  • 30+ = obese

Pregnancy can raise your chances of heart disease and stroke.

Pregnancy can increase your chances of heart disease and stroke. This is because pregnancy can cause problems that lead to heart diseases and strokes, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. It’s also possible that pregnancy will make existing heart problems worse.

For example, if you have high blood pressure before getting pregnant, it’s likely to get worse during pregnancy because of the extra weight gain and extra amount of fluid in your body (which increases pressure on the arteries). Pregnant women with high blood pressure face an increased risk of preeclampsia (a condition that causes high blood pressure) and other complications related to their kidneys or liver. Either one could lead to a stroke if not treated right away!


We hope that you’ve learned something new about the risks of pregnancy on heart health. The most important thing to remember is that if you have any concerns, talk with your doctor. He or she can help you determine whether your symptoms are normal or require further testing and treatment.



Emma is a health enthusiast, skilled blogger, and website manager dedicated to promoting primary health and wellness through Vital Primary Health.

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