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effects of pregnancy on future health

High blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes that develops during pregnancy usually gets better soon after delivery. But women who’ve had these conditions aren’t off the hook, said Dr. Monika Sanghavi, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Up to 6 percent of pregnant women develop diabetes during pregnancy (called gestational diabetes). Meanwhile, about 7 percent of women develop high blood pressure during pregnancy, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

“Cardiologists call pregnancy nature’s stress test,” said Sanghavi, who is also an assistant professor of internal medicine.

Pregnancy can be an early wake-up call, alerting women to their future risk for chronic health issues,