Intended for healthcare professionals


Six in 10 US women have poor cardiovascular health before pregnancy, study finds

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: (Published 16 February 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o402
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

More than half of women aged 20-44 who gave birth in the United States in 2019 had at least one cardiovascular risk factor before they became pregnant, such as overweight and obesity, hypertension, or diabetes—and the problem is getting worse, a study has found.

The American Heart Association reported a study of 14 174 625 US women who had a live birth from 2016 to 2019, published with related papers in a special issue of the association’s journal Circulation.1 The percentage of women with good cardiovascular health before pregnancy declined from 43.5% in 2016 to 40.2% in 2019.

Many women in the US do not seek regular healthcare until they become pregnant, when they are found to be obese, hypertensive, or diabetic. If they had the condition diagnosed before …

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