Here's another reason why teenage pregnancy is unsafe - a new study has suggested it could raise the risk of heart diseases for women later in life. Women who gave birth in their 20s showed lower risks for cardiovascular disease.

The multi-country study that used the Framingham Risk Score - a gender specific algorithm used in assessing 10-year cardiovascular risk - women who never carried a child had the lowest risk.

"Adolescent mothers may need to be more careful about lifestyle factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including maintaining a healthy body weight and sufficient physical activity," said study lead author, Dr Catherin Pirkle, assistant professor of the Office of Public Health Studies in the University of Hawaii.

In the study, 1,047 women aged 65 and 74 were included in the data collected for the International Mobility in Aging Study in 2012. Participants came from Canada. Braxil, Albania and Colombia.

Women who gave birth before they hit their 20s showed higher risks, according to the study results.

The theory about why teenage mothers had a higher risk of developing CVD due to the added strain put on a woman's heart and body during childbirth.

"Women who were adolescent moms may need to be more proactive about teir cardiovascular health and clinicians might need to have conversations with women about their childbirth history and should likewise be more careful about cardiovascular screening and follow-up," Dr Pirkle reminded.

She therefore encouraged more intensive screening for cardiovascular-related disease of women who now have teenage childbirth.

The study further suggested these women who had teenage pregnancy are likely to have come from lower-income families and lack education.

Dr JoAnn Manson, professor of medicine and women's health at the Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the study, commented that the study was an important step in women's health.

She explained that adolescent births associated with income strains and lack of education could lead to greater stress and financial adversities in later life.

A deeper evaluation of the prevalence of cigarette smoking, lack of physical exercise, as well as psycho-social stressors is necessary, the research team said. "These are risks for heart disease.

The study was published in the Journal of American Heart Association. MIMS

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