A new study reveals that women who face pregnancy issues like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia have a higher chance of dying early, even many years after giving birth.

Published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the study shows that these complications can lead to health problems that stick around for over 40 years. Dr. Casey Crump from UTHealth Houston explains that small health changes from these complications can lead to bigger issues later in life.

The study looked at data from over 2 million women in Sweden from 1973 to 2015. It found that nearly 30% of women had pregnancy complications. These complications, like gestational diabetes or having a baby with low birth weight, were linked to higher chances of dying later on.

Dr. Ashley Roman from NYU Langone Health says that pregnancy acts like a health check, revealing possible future health risks. For instance, gestational diabetes raised the risk of death by 52%, while preterm delivery increased it by 41%.

Heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, and cancer were some of the main causes of death linked to these complications. The risk of dying from heart disease was even higher for women with these complications.

The study also found that the risk from preterm delivery was highest within the first 10 years after birth but stayed high or increased over time for other complications.

Dr. Joanne Stone from Icahn School of Medicine emphasizes that this study highlights the importance of considering a woman’s pregnancy history in her overall health. A healthy lifestyle before, during, and after pregnancy can help reduce these risks.

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