Alarming Rise in Strokes among Pregnant Women in the US

Strokes among pregnant women are rare, but this ailment is increasing in the US. A recent study reveals that strokes among pregnant women increased to 6,293 in 2006-07 from 4,085 in 1994-95, a rise of 54%.

This disturbing fact was published recently in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Yet, overall incidence of strokes is just 0.75% among pregnant women in the US. The data includes strokes that occur within three months of childbirth.

The researchers say pregnant women become overweight which increases the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Plus, a higher number of pregnant women already harbor conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity, which makes them more vulnerable to strokes.

Pregnancy is by itself a risk factor and other conditions only increase the risk. Research on this topic is very less because pregnant women are not included in clinical trials, as drugs can harm the baby.

The scientists say more research is needed on why strokes afflict some women during pregnancy and soon after childbirth.

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