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Women’s Fertility Problems Linked to Higher Heart Disease Risk
Women whoِ haveِ a difficult time gettingِ pregnant areِ at a higher risk ofِ developing heart disease, a recentِ study suggests.
Researchers foundِ women whoِ wereِ unable toِ becomeِ pregnant forِ atِ least fiveِ years, butِ eventually did, hadِ a 19 percent increased risk ofِ heart disease, compared withِ women whoِ hadِ no problems gettingِ pregnant.
But whetherِ suchِ subfertility, asِ it isِ called, isِ a risk factor forِ cardiovascular disease stillِ remains unclear.
The study was published online Nov. 30 in the journal Human Reproduction.
A long road to a pregnancy
Subfertility mightِ beِ caused byِ thyroid disease, irregular menstrual periods andِ obesity, studies haveِ shown.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance thatِ causesِ problems inِ egg development, isِ alsoِ known toِ play a role.
Previous studies suggest thatِ women withِ polycystic ovarian syndrome appearِ to haveِ higher rates ofِ high cholesterol, high blood pressure andِ high blood sugar orِ diabetes, which areِ risk factors forِ heart disease.
Women were considered subfertile if they couldn’t get pregnant for more than one year.
About 3,300 participants developed heart disease over the course of the study.
Overall, among thoseِ with noِ fertility problems, thereِ were threeِ cases ofِ heart disease yearly perِ 10,000 women , whereasِ thereِ were fiveِ cases perِ 10,000 women whoِ wereِ subfertile.
There wasِ noِ increased risks forِ heart disease seenِ inِ subfertile women whoِ becameِ pregnant inِ fourِ or lessِ years, compared withِ women whoِ hadِ no trouble gettingِ pregnant.
What the findings may mean
The increased risk isِ actuallyِ small, butِ we stillِ needِ to find outِ why there’sِ a risk, Peterson said.
He alsoِ noted theِ study onlyِ focused onِ women, notِ men.
Though theِ study showed anِ increase inِ risk, Parikh saidِ she doesn’tِ think women shouldِ beِ alarmed.