We keep seeing in the news that more American adults (and even kids) are becoming overweight. Is this trend heading towards an obesity epidemic? The Centers for Disease Control recently released new statistics. Their latest survey reports that 26.1% of US adults in 2008 were obese compared to 25.6% in 2007. In Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia 30% or more were obese. NJ (our home state) is below the national average at 22.9%. Colorado was the only state with an obesity rate <20%. Now some really sad news: no state in the US showed a significant decrease in obesity between 2007 and 2008. Obesity increases a person risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. What does the future hold for the health of Americans?!?
Our new book “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” discusses risk factors for heart disease and stroke and offers tips for women to decrease their risk and their family’s risk for future heart problems. Please visit www.heart-strong.com for more info.
Many women develop high blood pressure during pregnancy but after delivery their blood pressure normalizes. Previous research has shown that these women are at a higher risk to develop high blood pressure when they get older (especially after menopause). A new research study conducted by Chielan researchers published in the journal Hypertension (April 2009) reports that women who develop high blood pressure during pregnancy are also at a greater risk to develop significant coronary artery disease. This study followed 217 women who underwent a heart catheterization approximately 30 years after their last pregnancy. Women who had experienced high blood pressure during at least one of their pregnancies were more likely to have significant narrowings in their coronary arteries than women who had normal blood pressures during pregnancy. Also women with high blood pressure during one of their pregnancies developed coronary artery disease about 3 years earlier.
So any woman who experiences high blood pressure during pregnancy, even if their blood pressure normalizes after delivery should be closely monitored for future heart disease. All heart disease risk factors should be evaluated in any woman who develops high blood pressure during pregnancy.
“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” was published this year and discusses how women can identify their risk factors and control their likelihood of developing future heart disease. For more info please visit www.heart-strong.com