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We all know that living a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption will improve your own health. But new research shows that the same healthy choices will impact an unborn child’s long-term adult cardiovascular health.

This is Great News because any time we influence our own health and the health of our families it empowers us to take control. Having this information will help people make the right decisions not only for themselves but for their children.

Mothers who live a generally healthy lifestyle pass on lifelong protection against heart disease to their children.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer and is considered to be partly preventable with lifestyle choices. Apart from family history and genetics, there are many lifestyle risk factors that increase the chances of getting cardiovascular disease:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Stress

Almost all of these factors can be partly or entirely controlled by lifestyle choices. And we have known about this for a long time. However, now we know that these poor lifestyle choices don’t only affect your own health but the long-term health of your children.

Sadiya Khan, M.D.

“The biological processes that contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes begin before a person is pregnant,” says Sadiya Khan, M.D., M.Sc., FAHA, chair of the scientific statement writing group and an assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.


Mothers-to-be can reduce their child’s risk of heart disease before they’re even born by following Life’s Essential 8 guidelines, which include eating healthily, exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels within normal range.

This study by the American Heart Association shows that a mother’s pre-pregnancy lifestyle has a direct correlation to the health of her children.

By following these simple guidelines before pregnancy, mothers can provide their children with the best possible start in life by protecting them from the world’s number one killer.

More research is required but this study may suggest that family history and genetic predisposition to heart disease could at least in part be broken by leading a healthy lifestyle prior to pregnancy.

And that is great news.

Read more – Study Finds Blog

Link to Study Press Release – Does the risk of heart disease start before birth

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