While having more children makes the family happier, it could actually take a toll on the mother’s heart, a new study says. In fact, scientists found out that the more kids a woman has, the higher her risk of having a heart attack.
A team of scientists at Cambridge University discovered that mothers with five or more kids were at a 38-percent increased risk of being hospitalized due to a heart attack. Moreover, they are at a 29-percent heightened risk of having cardiovascular disease and 17 percent more likely to have heart failure, compared to mothers with just one or two children.
The more children you have, the higher the risk of having a heart attack.
Women with three or four children have been linked to a modestly increased risk of serious health consequences, but the study shows that those with five or more kids had the highest risk.
The findings stem from 30 years worth of health data gathered from more than 8,000 women between the ages of 45 to 64 years.
Dr. Clare Oliver-Williams, the lead author of the study, said:
“We don’t want to worry or scare any mothers. Instead, I’d like people to see the window of opportunity that exists. By a woman’s early forties she will know how many children and pregnancies she has had, and therefore if she may be at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.”
“And for other readers, if they are concerned about a woman who may be at greater risk, try and help out. Offer to look after the kids (or some of the kids) so that the mother can have some downtime, for example.”
Pregnancy and childbirth take a toll on the heart health of many women worldwide.
Additionally, raising more children can be stressful, too. While the results of the study are not surprising, it’s important for mothers to look after their health since they have less time for themselves.
Mothers should regularly have their check-ups and tests.
Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said:
“Research like this reminds us that – regardless of the stereotype of the overweight, middle-aged man having a heart attack – heart disease strikes men and women alike.”
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