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Study: Post-Delivery Women still at leg blood clot risk

Women have a higher risk of blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks and other problems for 12 weeks after childbirth — twice as long as doctors have thought, new research finds.
Strokes are still fairly rare right after pregnancy but devastating when they do occur and fatal about 10 percent of the time, according to Dr. Hooman Kamel, a neurology specialist at New York’s Weill Cornell Medical College. Blood clots in the legs usually just cause pain but can be fatal if they travel to the lungs.
Kamel led the new study, which was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at an American Heart Association stroke conference in San Diego on Thursday.
Pregnant women are more prone to blood clots because blood components to prevent excessive bleeding during labor naturally increase, and blood from the legs has more trouble traveling to the heart.
“Sometimes there’s the notion that once they deliver they don’t have to worry about these things,” but risk persists for some time after the birth, said Dr. Andrew Stemer, a Georgetown University neurologist.
Doctors now sometimes give low-dose blood thinners to certain women at higher risk of blood clots for six weeks after delivery. The new study suggests risk lasts longer than that.
It involved nearly 1.7 million California women giving birth to their first child. Over the next year and a half, 1,015 of them developed clots — 248 had strokes, 47 had heart attacks and 720 had clots in the legs or lungs.
The risk of one of these problems was about 11 times greater during the first six weeks after delivery and more than two times greater during weeks seven to 12. After that, it fell to level seen in women who had not had a baby.
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image: The Mother Baby Center
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Pregnancy, Birth Control Pills & Stroke linked

Taking birth control pills can influence a woman’s risk of stroke. So can migraines and menopause.

Even though women die of stroke at a greater rate than men – it’s their third leading cause of death, compared to men’s fifth – many aren’t aware they have a unique set of risk factors.

“If you are a woman, you share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but your risk is also influenced by hormones, reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth and other sex-related factors,” said Dr. Cheryl Bushnell, author of a new statement published in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.

The statement, issued Thursday by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, lays out for the first time a set of stroke prevention guidelines for doctors and their female patients.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are stroke risk factors for both women and men. But other risk factors including migraine with aura, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, depression and emotional stress are more common in women.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/women-stroke-risk-factors-pregnancy-migraines-article-1.1606130#ixzz2sfoiyN43

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Study: Couples with Fertility problems more likely to stay together if have baby, divorce if don’t

Couples who seek evaluation for infertility problems are more likely to stay together if they are ultimately able to have a child, a new Danish study suggests.
Researchers followed couples after they first sought assistance with fertility issues. Women who didn’t have a child over the next 12 years were up to three times more likely to get divorced or end the relationship compared to women who gave birth to a child during that follow-up period, the investigators found.
The study included more than 47,500 women in Denmark who were evaluated for infertility between 1990 and 2006. Among this group, 57 percent gave birth after fertility treatment.
The findings are published in the Jan. 29 online edition of the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
“Our findings suggest that not having a child after fertility treatment may adversely affect the duration of a relationship for couples with fertility issues,” said study lead author Trille Kristina Kjaer, of the survivorship unit at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen.
“Further investigations that account for marital quality and relational well-being of couples with fertility problems are now needed,” Kjaer noted in a journal news release.
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Study: Vitamin D supplements in pregnancy linked to strong baby muscles

Researchers have suggested that babies are likely to have stronger muscles if their mothers had a higher level of vitamin D in their body while they are pregnant.

In the research vitamin D levels were measured in 678 mothers in the later stages of pregnancy.

When the children were four years old, grip strength and muscle mass were measured. Results showed that the higher the levels of vitamin D in the mother, the higher the grip strength of the child, with an additional, but less pronounced association between mother’s vitamin D and child’s muscle mass.

Lead researcher Dr Nicholas Harvey, Senior Lecturer at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU) at the University of Southampton said that these associations between maternal vitamin D and offspring muscle strength may well have consequences for later health; muscle strength peaks in young adulthood before declining in older age and low grip strength in adulthood has been associated with poor health outcomes including diabetes, falls and fractures.

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