heart disease and pregnancyA recent report published through a study at Oxford University reveals a number of cases involving pregnant women and heart disease, during which physicians have failed to intervene and treat the cardiovascular condition.

Because pregnancy and childbirth often exert extra strain on the heart, which is exacerbated by pre-existing and underlying conditions, several deaths of fatal heart attacks have occurred without warning. Pregnancy itself stresses the heart and circulatory system, as blood volume increases by up to 50%, in order to nourish the growing baby. Moreover, the amount of blood pumped by the heart also increases by up to 50%.

This exigent matter further requires increased attention from doctors, many of whom have failed to be vigilant, and consider the possibility of heart disease when their patients are experiencing chest pain. The complexity of these cases necessitates a multidisciplinary approach, with the involvement of obstetricians, cardiologists, and other specialists who can focus on lessening potential complications.

Heart disease is the leading cause of maternal death in the United Kingdom. While there are a host of symptoms that are normal during the course of pregnancy, severe chest pain can be a critical marker and symptom for a more sinister diagnosis. Missing these signs can, ultimately, be highly detrimental–even deadly.