BY- Mukta Kaushik
According to a research carried out by Sandra Davidge, Executive Director of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute at Alberta University, Canada, it was established that women who put off having children past 35 could be at increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Being 35 or older during pregnancy increases the risk of impaired vessel function and reduced blood flow to the placenta. These issues not only contributes to heart disease in the mother decades later but also endanger growth and overall health of the unborn child.
For verification of this, they looked at 3 groups of older female rats that had either given birth, miscarried or never been pregnant. The condition of those who had lost pups had less widening of the vessels, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. The same condition also is seen in arteries of those who successfully delivered. These rats were nine-and-half-months old, that is, equivalent to 35
years old woman.
Sex-specific differences in health risks of the older rat’s offspring could also be seen. Male pups showed impaired blood vessel lining, but this was not the case with the female pups. Delayed pregnancy reduces fertility by almost half (46%) and litter size by more than a third (36%). It also restricted the growth of the fetus. It also restricted the growth of the fetus in the womb but increases the weight of the mother’s placenta and her blood pressure. Thus delayed pregnancy can have serious health implications for both the mother and the child.