Big families reduce heart disease in women

Research has shown that mothers who have four or more children are less likely to die of heart disease

Having a large family may be stressful at times, but a study has discovered that mothers with four or more children may have a reduced risk of heart disease.

Results have shown that pregnancy hormones could protect blood vessels for years after giving birth and help reduce the risk of getting the disease.

The added social support of a larger family is also a positive as it will provide a greater network of help later on in life.

‘The physiological changes a woman experiences in pregnancy can have lasting effects on her health,’ says Dr Bradley Van Voorhis, President of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

‘A large, relatively healthy and affluent group of women showed a cardiovascular benefit from more than four pregnancies.’

The study, involving 1,300 women in California, suggested that mothers with larger families were almost 50 per cent less like to die of a stroke and one third less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease.

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