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New Heart Guidelines For Women

February 15, 2011, 5:10 PM by Kelli Grant

The American Heart Association is changing its guidelines, and it's a warning to women who have experienced complications during their pregnancy.

The American Heart Association is warning that if a woman experienced gestational diabetes or pregnancy induced hypertension they're at a greater risk of future heart problems.

A history of preeclampsia doubles the risk of stroke, heart disease and dangerous clotting in veins during the five to 15 years after pregnancy. Essentially, having pregnancy complications can now be considered equivalent to having failed a stress test.

“It's really a calling to be more aware of your heart health risk factors and live that heart healthy diet and heart healthy lifestyle,” Cardiologist Chrisandra Schufelt said.

The updated guidelines also emphasize the importance of recognizing racial and ethnic diversity and its impact on cardiovascular disease. That's because hypertension is a particular problem among African-American women and diabetes is more prevalent among Hispanic women.

Some of the new dietary guidelines for all women include less than 1500 milligrams of salt a day and limiting sugar to five or less servings a week.

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