Hispanic women who have five or more successful births may have a significantly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those with no or fewer births, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014. Researchers analyzed 855 Hispanic women 45 years and older who were enrolled in Echo-SOL (Echocardiographic Study of Latinos), a population study in Chicago, Miami, San Diego and the Bronx, New York. Of the 855, 12.2 percent had six or more live births and 4.7 percent had no live births. Researchers found:

  • Among women with five or more live births, 85 percent had left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, leading to an abnormal relaxation phase of the heart.
  • Among women with two to four live births, 61 percent to 63 percent had diastolic dysfunction.
  • Among women with no births, 51 percent developed diastolic dysfunction.

“Further studies are needed to determine the functional changes that occur and their harmful consequences on diastolic function and whether these changes translate into heart failure,” said Shivani Aggarwal, M.B.B.S., lead author of the study.

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