Why talking with your OBGYN could be the secret weapon for your heart

Dr. Jennifer Ashton reveals that three specific groups of women need to have conversations with their OBGYN about their heart health.
3:19 | 02/26/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Why talking with your OBGYN could be the secret weapon for your heart
Now to our series love your heart as we recognize heart disease is the number one cause of death among women and Dr. Jen Ashton will reveal a secret weapon to help women fight that statistic and that secret weapon is you? Can you believe that, robin? No, this is what I want people to know. It applies to men also because most men have at least one woman they care about in their lives. Your ob/gyn can literally save your life by connecting the dots between body parts. We treat the whole woman not just a body part and known multiple ob/gyn risk factors or issues can directly increase a woman's risk down the road for heart disease so big push to integrate those two specialties. You say there are three groups of women in particular that we should -- Exactly. The first affects 15 million women. Affects about 15 million women. It can start in adolescence and go all the way up, pcos, polycystic ovarian syndrome. We call this the most common least well understood hormonal condition. It can be mild or severe and in some cases it can cause what we call the metabolic syndrome. That means increasing the bad cholesterol, decreasing the good cholesterol. It can lead to high blood pressure directly so really important to diagnose it, screen for it in some cases and then manage it. Super important. All right. Now this next silhouette, I think we know. I think we know the baby bump. 6 million annually. So about 6 million women a year in this country are pregnant. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in pregnancy and postpartum. Not to scare women but it's very important that in this young age group, that the awareness is up, the education is up. That they can suffer severe and potentially life-threatening cardiovascular disease. Big changes in the cardiovascular system in pregnancy, increase in blood volume, can affect blood pressure so I think the key thing here, if women have high blood pressure in pregnancy or a condition known as pre-eclampsia that is considered down the road a failed stress test for their heart so awareness really A big group here, 46 million, wow. Yep, this is not a disease, robin. This is a natural part of life. We're talking about women in or after menopause here. We know after menopause estrogen level, a major hormone drops, that then can increase hardening of the arteries. This is a complicated issue. It's not as simple as add more estrogen. But if you have adverse effects on your cholesterol, lowering of the good cholesterol, increase in bad cholesterol. You want to talk to your doctor or health care provider about this. Because it's all about management awareness and prevention. So we see all the millions here but you know there are millions who do not have an ob/gyn who do not have health insurance. What is your recommendation. Any health care provider they are seeing, nurse practitioner, family medicine doctor, general practitioner, sometimes the woman can educate that provider about connecting the dots there, ask do I have risk factors am my history that will increase my risk factors for heart disease down the road because we hear it again and again, 80% of heart disease is preventable. That's the take home. You really help us to know what questions to ask our providers. Appreciate that very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"3:19","description":"Dr. Jennifer Ashton reveals that three specific groups of women need to have conversations with their OBGYN about their heart health.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/GMA","id":"69226595","title":"Why talking with your OBGYN could be the secret weapon for your heart","url":"/GMA/Wellness/video/talking-obgyn-secret-weapon-heart-69226595"}