The largest study in the United States links premature delivery and cardiovascular disease.
Researchers at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital studied why women who give birth early are at higher risk for the disease later in life. It revealed that women who have delivered a preterm baby are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
Researchers reviewed data on more than 70,000 women. Women who delivered before 37 weeks had a 40 percent increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Kate Deprizio of Lynnfield gets regular checkups since giving birth to her son, Will, who was born premature at 35 weeks.
"I was at home and I woke up with bleeding," she said. "The hemorrhaging did subside but then I started to have contractions."
Will just turned two months old and is healthy, but the focus is also on his mom's health, especially knowing the results of the study.
Dr. Lauren Tanz, who led the study, said the heart risks develop over a lifetime and it is never too early for new moms to adopt a heart healthy lifestyle. She said the next step is to research how to prevent the disease in women who give birth prematurely.