Experiencing multiple pregnancies increases a woman’s risk of developing atrial fibrillation later in life, according to a recent study. The condition, also called Afib, is characterized by an irregular heartbeat and can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other complications.
The researchers speculate that the repeated exposure to physiological, metabolic or hormonal factors during pregnancy might explain the link.
But they note that the point of the research is no way to discourage women from having children.
“Our research highlights that something about pregnancy predisposes women to this greater risk, and more research is needed to help us understand why,” study author Dr. Jorge A. Wong of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, said in a statement.
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