2011 American Heart Association Guidelines for Women

2011 American Heart Association Guidelines for Women

If you have had cardiovascular-related complications in your pregnancy, take control of your health now.

Since 2011, the AHA has determined a woman could fall into one of the three following groups depending on her health history:

  1. high risk for heart disease-women with established heart disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and other risk factors;
  2. at risk for heart disease which includes women with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension—all equivalent to a failed stress test which doctors use to diagnose heart disease;
  3. or ideal cardiovascular health;

A woman who experienced the pregnancy complications listed above needs to stay in touch with her doctor. “Your blood pressure may return to normal after pregnancy and your blood sugar may return to normal too, but don’t ignore these symptoms,” says Ileana L. Pina, MD from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Lori Mosca MD a cardiologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital states: “If you develop one of these conditions during pregnancy, it is an unmasking of the risk that tells us your vascular system doesn’t function ideally. These complications are an opportunity to detect early that there is a problem.”

Follow up with your doctor, Mosca says. Ask yourself: “What can I do to prevent heart disease and diabetes?” Mosca states that your doctor might recommend aggressive lifestyle changes and possibly medication. “We are unmasking a problem early so that we can prevent full-blown cardiovascular disease.”

Here are the Guidelines that the AHA association has established because of this new research:

  1. Consume less than 1,500 milligrams of salt per day
  2. Limit sugar or high sugar content foods to five or fewer servings per week
  3. Don’t rely on folic acid and vitamins like E, C and beta-carotene to prevent heart disease; instead eat a healthy diet
  4. As for daily aspirin, don’t just start taking one—talk to your doctor; and know your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers
  5. Bottom line: a healthy lifestyle will help you avoid heart disease, but you must be aware of your risk factors, exercise and eat a healthy diet. TAKE CONTROL!

Thanks to Web MD