THURSDAY, May 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A cardio-obstetrics team is essential for management of cardiovascular disease during pregnancy, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement published online May 4 in Circulation.

Noting that cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of pregnancy-related mortality in the United States, Laxmi S. Mehta, M.D., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues address cardiovascular considerations in caring for patients during pregnancy.

The researchers note that advancing maternal age and preexisting comorbid conditions have influenced elevated maternal mortality rates. For women with preexistent cardiac conditions or a history of preeclampsia, preconception counseling by the multidisciplinary cardio-obstetrics team, made up of obstetricians, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, maternal fetal medicine specialists, geneticists, neurologists, nurses, and pharmacists, is essential. This team should review maternal cardiovascular risk, obstetric risk, and fetal risk and outcomes, including expectant management and prepregnancy counseling on cardiac medication safety throughout pregnancy and lactation. Early involvement of this team can avert maternal morbidity and mortality during pregnancy and one-year postpartum. All cardiovascular and primary care clinicians should have a general understanding of cardiovascular disease during pregnancy.

“General understanding of cardiovascular disease during pregnancy should be a core knowledge area for all cardiovascular and primary care clinicians,” Mehta said in a statement. “Involvement of the cardio-obstetrics team from preconception to postpartum care is critical because these experts working together can help identify ways to prevent maternal morbidity and mortality.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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