Well over half of women who become pregnant start their pregnancies in poor health, according to a new study published in the journal Circulation. Researchers at Northwestern collected data on pre-pregnancy heart health risk factors for more than 14 million women. They found that roughly three out of five newly pregnant women already had high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity. In some states, especially Midwestern and Southern states, the rates of these pre-pregnancy heart risks were even higher. These medical conditions are important, as babies born to mothers with high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity may be born early. According to the American Heart Association, about one-quarter of pregnancy-related deaths are due to heart disease.
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