Mercy OB/GYN Dr. Robert Atlas Discusses Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Pregnancy

August 13, 2019
Mercy Bunting Center

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, cardiovascular disease is now the leading cause of death among pregnant women and women who have recently had a baby.

Raenell White, 34, is due with her second child, a girl, at the end of August. She found out she was pregnant in December.

"We found out right then and there that my blood pressure was high and that I needed to start some type of regimen, but we also took precautions because I had a previous diagnosis of hypertension with my last son," White said.

Hypertension or high blood pressure can lead to several health issues and increase the risk of heart disease. It is something pregnant women need to be especially mindful of.

"The key is getting into care early, having, if there is the development of hypertension, have that treated early, said Robert O. Atlas, M.D., FACOG, Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy Medical Center.

Even before a woman becomes pregnant, it’s important to have an evaluation.

"I think the first thing to figure out is what’s in your family?" Dr. Atlas said.

White said she has a family history of hypertension and diabetes. But she had some early symptoms.

"My feet were swelling, my hands were swelling, excessive overheating and underheating at a very early stage," White said.

"If you can’t walk a city block, or if you can’t go up a flight of stairs without stopping in between, to me, that’s where an evaluation needs to occur," Dr. Atlas said.

White says she is taking aspirin but other than that she’s just focusing on a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and staying active while waiting for her baby girl to make her arrival.

View Mercy Ob/Gyn Dr. Robert Atlas’ interview regarding cardiovascular disease and pregnancy.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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