Watch out for this heart disease risk

How careful are you in protecting your heart health? If your family is subject to the factor that increases your heart disease chances by 90 percent, you may have to be even more careful.

If your mother was overweight or obese before her pregnancy with you, your life is at significant risk of ending because of a heart attack or stroke.

“Excess weight among young women of childbearing age has important implications not only for their own health, but for that of their children as well,” warns researcher Michael Mendelson who is a research fellow at the Framingham Heart Study, Boston University and the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Other research has demonstrated that if your mother was overweight before her pregnancy, you are at a high risk of diabetes and obesity. But now scientists have shown that her weight can also make you more prone to life-threatening cardiovascular difficulties.

The 41-year study (1971 to 2012) involved more than 800 people. About 10 percent of the mothers had been overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of over 25. (For instance, a woman who is 5-foot-4 who weighs more than 145 pounds has a BMI of over 25. To check your BMI, look here.)

During the four decades of the study, people who had mothers who were overweight before pregnancy experienced a 90 percent higher risk of suffering cardiovascular disease and death.

Right now, figures from the from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists show that more than 50 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. are overweight or obese.

That means the United States had better brace itself for a new flood of heart disease victims.


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.