33% of US women at risk for complicated pregnancies

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A third of women who are in their reproductive years suffer from chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, breast cancer and asthma, which raise their risks of pregnancy complications. 

The particular complications that each of these conditions may contribute to vary, but include high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and even birth defects. 

But, the University of Utah authors note, many women don't see Obstetrician/gynecologists until they are pregnant or trying to get pregnant and are unaware that their conditions could cause additional problems for them or developing babies. 

This is not to say that women with health conditions should necessarily not have children - but they ought to understand what they may face in pregnancy, the study authors say. 

Health conditions like high blood pressure are common and manageable - but put 33% of US women at risk for complicated pregnancies and miscarriage, a new study found

Health conditions like high blood pressure are common and manageable - but put 33% of US women at risk for complicated pregnancies and miscarriage, a new study found 

Many common health problems lend themselves to complications in pregnancy. 

Among them, some that affect a particularly large proportion of women in the US include high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, kidney issues, many autoimmune disorder, HIV, cancer or infections such as hepatitis. 

These conditions affect women in the US at high rates.

For example, about 40 percent of women in the US are obese. 

Those estimated 24.4 million women are at higher risks of having miscarriages or stillbirths.  

Even if their babies develop normally, these women are at elevated risks of preeclampsia, a pregnancy-linked high blood pressure condition that can become life-threatening. 

Over 30 percent of women have high blood pressure outside of pregnancy, which means they will likely have preeclampsia as well. 

That in turn puts them at risk for heart and kidney disease and stroke. 

High blood pressure may restrict blood flow to the placenta and keeping as many nutrients as should from reaching the developing fetus. 

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