Why women should ask their ob-gyn about heart health

More awareness is needed, says UCI Health cardiology and maternity expert

February 07, 2024

IN THE NEWS: An annual visit to an obstetrician-gynecologist is encouraged for women from the time they reach reproductive age to screen for breast and cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infection and other issues. Increasingly, research indicates that the heart should be talked about, as well.

American Heart Association white torch on a red heart with a flameUCI Health cardiologist Dr. Afshan Hameed spoke to the American Heart Association about the need for awareness.

"Cardiovascular risk assessment is important at all ages, particularly during the childbearing years. But I don't think awareness is where it needs to be. We need to be bringing it up to every woman who comes in for ob-gyn care."

Hameed is a board-certified UCI Health cardiologist and maternal-fetal medicine specialist, as well as a professor of obstetrics-gynecology and cardiology at the UCI School of Medicine. She is a nationally recognized expert who co-authored the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' inter-conception care guidelines for women with hypertension to improve post-partum care and follow up. Her clinical interests include heart disease in pregnancy, fetal echocardiography, preeclampsia and anticoagulation in pregnancy.

Hameed serves on the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review Advisory Committee (PAMR), which reviews all cases of maternal mortality to identify gaps in care for quality improvement opportunities. She also helped develop the cardiovascular and venous thromboembolism toolkits published by CMQCC. She also served on the American College of Gynecology Presidential Task Force for the publication of its 2019 Practice Bulletin on Heart Disease in Pregnancy.

Read more