The Community Engagement team with the USC MADRES Environmental Health Disparities Center (MADRES) in collaboration with Dr. Shohreh Farzan, assistant professor at Keck School of Medicine and EH MATTERS fellow Sydney Powell ('24 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention), has released a new infographic: Caring for Mama's Heart.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) rates have continued to climb among US women, despite greater prevention efforts. CVD is the leading cause of death for women, accounting for nearly 1 in 5 deaths each year. For some women, cardiovascular risk may be uncovered during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. Normal changes that support the growth of a baby can act as a stressor on a woman’s body, potentially uncovering underlying chronic conditions or making the body more susceptible to various exposures in their environment. Women who experience complications during their pregnancy, like gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia, may be at even greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease in later years.
"Even though cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle, it has continued to rise and is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Recent research has demonstrated that the exposures women face during pregnancy may have long term implications for their cardiovascular health thus making women more susceptible to CVD. This infographic was made to educate mothers about CVD and serve as a reminder to women to make their health a priority. It also offers tips and free, accessible resources for women who want to change their lifestyle to help prevent CVD. I hope this infographic can be a resource for women, especially those in disadvantaged communities, on how to take proactive steps to prevent CVD." -Sydney Powell, EH MATTERS Fellow
As part of the Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES) Center, we are beginning to understand that the health of women during the prenatal and postpartum periods may have long-term implications for their health and aim to raise awareness to improve cardiovascular health among women, particularly those who may be more susceptible due to environmental exposures.
This infographic was supported in part: