A study by the American Heart heart association suggests that mothers who have children in their teenage years have a higher risk of heart disease later in life.
The study that was published in the Journal of American Heart Association established that menopausal women who had their first birth as teenagers had a higher risk of heart disease when compared to those who had their children later.
WHO statistics indicate that 11 percent of all children worldwide are born to teenagers between the ages of 15 to 19.
According to the Kenya Population Situation Analysis, Kenya is among the countries that contribute to the biggest number of teenage pregnancies globally.
For every 1000 pregnancies, 103 of them are teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 years.
The study by American Heart Association collected data from 1,047 women between the ages of 65 to 74. The researchers then used the Framingham Risk Score which is used to measure risk of developing cardiovascular diseases comparing women who had their first child before the age of 20 years with those who gave birth later in life and those women who had multiple births. The outcome established that women who had their first child when they were teenagers had a higher risk of getting heart disease later in life.
In their perspective, the researchers noted; To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate, in postmenopausal women from multiple global settings, that adolescent childbirth is related to greater overall cardiovascular risk, as measured by the Framingham Risk Score, compared with women who gave birth at later ages, and compared with nulliparous women.
This truth only adds to what we already know. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. Couple this with the number of teenagers who are having children and what you have is a future of menopausal women crippled by a disease that can be controlled now.
Information, we are reminded often, is power. What policy makers do with this kind of information is what might illuminate or cast a dark shadow in future.