Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death of women in the United States. Emerging evidence suggests several complications of pregnancy such as hypertensive disorders, preeclampsia, eclampsia, diabetes, and preterm birth are predictive of future cardiovascular health. All women, especially those who have experienced one of these complications during pregnancy, should be screened for risk factors during their postpartum visit and subsequent well women visits so they can be aware and take steps to modify their diet and lifestyle to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease. Screening may enhance early identification so appropriate treatment can be initiated.
Kathleen Rice Simpson is a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist in St. Louis, MO, and the Editor-in-Chief of MCN. Dr. Simpson can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The author declares no conflicts of interest.