Hidden risk factors that could put your heart in danger

Pregnancy-related conditions in your past may predict heart disease in your future.

Even if your childbearing years are well behind you, conditions that you had during your pregnancy could influence your cardiovascular health today.

Women who had gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy) or pre-eclampsia (a pregnancy condition marked by high blood pressure and protein loss in the urine) are at higher risk for future cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, says Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School.

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