Number of Pregnancies Can Affect Mother’s Heart Condition

May 5, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. link /lɪŋk/  (v.) – to connect with someone or something
Example: Stress is linked to moodiness and irritability.

2. carry out  /ˈkær aʊt/ (phrasal v.) – to perform a particular research or study
Example: They carried out the research by asking 10 teenagers to accomplish a survey.

3. substantial /səbˈstænʃəl/ (adj.) – enough or considerable in amount or size
Example: The researchers had a substantial amount of time to conduct the study.

4. cardiovascular /ˌkɑrʊˈvæsəər/ (adj.) – relating to the heart and blood vessels
Example: Cardiovascular diseases are common in older people.

5. prevent /prɪˈvɛnt/ (v.) – to stop from doing something
Example: My poor health prevents me from doing extreme sports.


Read the text below.
The number of times a mother gives birth can be linked to heart disease, research says.

A recent study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center suggests that women with four or more children have higher chances of developing heart disease. The researchers, led by Monika Sanghavi, speculated that the number of pregnancies can be associated with early signs of heart illness.

Sanghavi and her team carried out the study by selecting 1,644 women with an average age of 45. Nearly 60 percent of the participants were African-Americans.

To obtain substantial information, all participants indicated the number of live births they had in the past. They also underwent relevant imaging tests – tomography imaging and magnetic resonance imaging – to gather evidence of subclinical atherosclerosis [ath-uh-roh-skluh-ROH-sis, ath-] in their hearts and artery walls.

Results of the study showed that women who gave birth to four or more children have higher risks of cardiovascular disease compared to women with two to three live births.

However, the researchers were surprised to know that the women with zero to one live birth also showed signs of subclinical atherosclerosis. The team assumed that some of these participants have an underlying medical condition that prevented them from having successful live births. This particular medical condition can also cause heart disease.

Sanghavi said that this study is intended to look into possible factors contributing to heart disease and not as a basis for the number of children a woman can have.  

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Is heart disease a common ailment among women in your county? Why is that so?
·         What do you think would be the effect of this study on women?

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, how many children should a family have?
·         What factors do you think should individuals consider in deciding the number of children one can have?


May 5, 2014