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Pregnancy as window to future health
Date:7/1/2013

Physicians with the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine released a paper today that provides significant insight into future health conditions that women are likely to experience, and that can be detected early based on information relating to the course of pregnancy. The paper, Pregnancy as a Window to Future Health: The development of complications in pregnancy provides a new window of opportunity for early heart disease risk screening and intervention for women, acknowledges that, for most women, the demands of pregnancy on the cardiovascular and metabolic systems are some of the highest the body will endure.

The response of the body to pregnancy can provide clues to the future health of the woman. The paper also points out that the prevention of chronic diseases in adults and children has become a national priority due to the rising rates of these conditions along with rising mortality rates. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005 almost one in every two adults had at least one chronic illness and seven out of 10 deaths annually are attributed to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Recognizing the relation of pregnancy complications to long term health and disease can be leveraged to prevent chronic diseases. Health care providers can then take advantage of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act which includes a full title dedicated to prevention of chronic disease.

George Saade, MD, FACOG, past president of SMFM and co-author of the report explained, "The rates of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity in women are rising, and the current practice is to wait until late in the life cycle to screen for these conditions. SMFM believes that the tools and information to assess risk should be expanded to include information obtained during pregnancy." Saade continued, "Clues during this period can raise red flags for a woman's health later in life."

"Pregnancy is essenti
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Contact: Vicki Bendure
vicki@bendurepr.com
202-374-9259
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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