In California, 52 of 209 pregnancy-related deaths reported from 2002 to 2005 were caused by some type of heart condition, mostly cardiomyopathy, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association meeting. "And health care providers should be referring pregnant women who complain of symptoms consistent with cardiac disease to specialists, especially when these risk factors are present. Women with evidence of substance abuse should receive early referral for treatment," lead researcher Dr. Afshan Hameed said.

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