Study: Women over 40 face much higher pregnancy risks - Montgomery Alabama news.

Study: Women over 40 face much higher pregnancy risks

(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo) (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

The number of teens giving birth continues to plummet in the U.S. but births among women over 40 are climbing, according to the Journal Pediatrics.

Another study indicates that, for older mothers, pregnancy can come with some potential health risks.

New research published in the journal "Public Library of Science Medicine" looked at the ways age affects the health of pregnant women. The study found that pregnant women over 40 faced a much higher risk of developing life-threatening conditions.

When the incidence of those conditions was examined in association with age, the results formed a J-shape.

Starting with teens, at the front of the J, there were some elevated health risks. Those risks dropped among women 20 to 34, then rose sharply for women 40 and older. The potentially life-threatening conditions that came with age include kidney failure, shock, and acute heart problems.

While the study provides new information, doctors say it's just one piece of the puzzle. Overall good health gives a woman the best chance of a complication-free pregnancy.

Lifestyle choices and underlying conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity can all lead to a high-risk pregnancy.

Ideally, women should review these risk factors with a doctor before attempting to get pregnant.

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