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Medical Moments
S3E3: At the heart of improving maternal mortality

Cardio-obstetrics may be the most important medical practice that women thinking about having children have never heard of. It’s a relatively new field practiced by Northside interventional cardiologist Dr. Michele Voeltz.

Dr. Voeltz's clinical interests are in cardio-obstetrics, heart disease in pregnancy and women’s health. This new line of service is especially important as the United States tackles the growing problem of maternal mortality. The U.S. has the worst maternal mortality rate among 11 developed countries. Georgia has the highest maternal mortality rate in the nation at 46 deaths for every 100,000 births.

In the latest episode of Northside Hospital Medical Moments, Dr. Voeltz discusses how maternal mortality is an important indicator of the health of a nation because many of the deaths are almost entirely preventable.

"Unfortunately, a lot of the things that signify the presence of cardiovascular disease in pregnant women are also present in normal pregnancies," says Dr. Voeltz. "We watch out for chest discomfort, shortness of breath, swelling in the legs or in the feet. But all of these things can frequently be seen with a normal pregnancy."

Listen to the full podcast episode at podcast.northside.com.

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