Heart Disease Women

First Trimester Crucial for Later Heart Health

Study looks at size of fetus to determine cardiovascular risk factors

Children who were small during the first trimester of pregnancy may be at increased risk for heart problems later in life, according to a new study.
Dutch researchers assessed almost 1,200 6-year-olds for cardiovascular risk factors, including amount and distribution of body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol and insulin levels. Children who were smallest during the first three months of pregnancy had larger amounts of total fat and abdominal fat, as well as high cholesterol levels and hypertension.
Though more research is needed to identify why smaller size during the first trimester has long-term consequences for heart health, Dutch researchers noted that the first trimester is the period during pregnancy when the heart and other major organs begin to form.

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