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Bridgeport Hospital launches Postpartum Cardiac Risk Reduction Clinic

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

BRIDGEPORT, CT (Dec. 01, 2020) – Women who develop certain common pregnancy complications have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life. However, much of the country does not have dedicated postpartum cardiovascular risk assessment and counselling. Today, the Obstetric Medicine clinic at Bridgeport Hospital has announced the launch of one of the Northeast’s first programs dedicated to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease in women who have experienced complicated pregnancies.

Led by Tabassum Firoz, MD, Internal and Obstetric Medicine, Bridgeport Hospital, the Postpartum Cardiac Risk Reduction Clinic will provide cardiac risk reduction strategies for new mothers who had preeclampsia, eclampsia, or gestational hypertension, diseases that disproportionally impact women of color who often don’t receive follow-up care after having their babies.

“Women who experienced hypertensive disorders in their pregnancy face anywhere from two to seven times greater risk of developing heart disease as early as 10 years after the complicated pregnancy,” said Dr. Firoz. “This clinic will offer women in our community long-term postpartum care and the resources, leveraged from our primary care practice, to advocate for their healthcare throughout their lives.”

The clinic, which is currently being offered via telehealth to accommodate the present climate and accepts all women regardless of insurance, will provide culturally contextualized tailored plans that include lifestyle management, care coordination, nutrition consults, medication management as well as connections to community organizations. The clinic will also facilitate a smooth transition to primary care.

In the United States, high blood pressure occurs in 1 in every 12 to 17 pregnancies. However, current studies examining standards of care are sparse and include predominantly white populations.

To contribute to the body of research in maternal health and continuously enhance care, Bridgeport Hospital’s Postpartum Cardiac Risk Reduction Clinic will track data on CVD risk markers to see if clinic attendance improves outcomes and partner with existing North American research networks to provide data on a multi-ethnic high risk population.

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