Pregnancy Increases Heart Attack Risk -- Let's All Freak Out!

pregnant bellyAttention all pregnant women: Your pregnancy is going to kill you. Via heart attack. Maybe. Possibly. Okay, probably not.

A new study that's sweeping the Internet by storm is blathering on about how the odds of you having a heart attack are higher when you're pregnant than when you're not pregnant due to delightful things like hormonal changes, increased blood volume, and "other physiological changes." Oh, and these gestational heart attacks are apparently more severe than the "regular" ones, and the death rate is higher than what is expected of non-preggos of the same age.

Uplifting! Also ... totally unnecessary. The "statistics" are kind of a crock.

I don't mean a crock in the sense that these super smart people with way bigger brains than I got the numbers wrong per se, I mean a crock in the sense that this study is getting people -- especially people of the pregnant variety -- up in a tizzy for no reason. These odds this study speak of are really low. The odds of a pregnant woman having a heart attack are only three to four times higher than that of a non-pregnant woman. That comes out to about 1 in every 16,000 deliveries. But put the words "heart attack" and "pregnant" in a study, and the sky is sure to fall.

By no means am I trying to diminish the seriousness of having a heart attack while you're pregnant. I think it goes without saying that that's a pretty big deal. But to come out with a "study" on this and to attach sensational headlines to it, etc. -- it just doesn't seem necessary. Pregnant women are fragile enough as is, and we've already got tons o' concerns on our mind. (You don't want to see our Google history.) We could do without one more. Especially when that one more seems to be blowing things out of context. A simple chat with our doctors or a print out from the nurses would have sufficed just fine.

Do you think this study is being blown out of proportion?


Image via photographybyjoelle.com/Flickr