In a birth cohort study, puerperae were consecutively recruited at five public maternities of Porto, Portugal (2005-2006). We included 7,381 women with complete data for the current analysis. Socioeconomic characteristics, smoking habits, pre-pregnancy weight and chronic diseases diagnosis were self-reported and height was measured.
Before pregnancy, 21.3% of women were overweight and 8.8% were obese, 26.6% smoked and 11.2% were former smokers. The prevalence of hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes mellitus was 1.7, 1.7 and 0.6%, respectively, with an evident tendency to cluster. The prevalence of all cardiovascular risk factors, except smoking, increased with age and body mass index. Education and income were inversely associated with excessive weight. Current smokers were younger, thinner and in a lower socioeconomic position, whereas former smokers were older and in a higher socioeconomic position.
Despite the low prevalence of hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes, their tendency to cluster and the increased prevalence among overweight/obese women highlight the high level of risk of this young female population