In a nutshell
This study investigated the effect of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM; diabetes first diagnosed in pregnancy) on developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease. It was determined that GDM was associated with a higher risk of developing T2D, high blood pressure, and ischemic heart disease.
The prevalence of GDM is increasing in most developed countries. GDM is associated with developing T2D. However, very few studies have examined its effect on developing cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease includes high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease (strokes and mini-strokes). Ischemic heart disease is a disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart. Enough blood is not delivered to the heart, resulting in chest pain (angina) or heart attacks.
Methods & findings
This study examined the medical records of 9,118 women diagnosed with GDM between 1990 and 2016. They were compared with the medical records of 37,281 women who were not diagnosed with GDM in pregnancy. The follow-up period varied from 1 to 25 years, with an average of 2.9 years.
Women with GDM were more likely to be overweight or obese (63%) than women without GDM (35%). Less than 60% of women diagnosed with GDM were screened for T2D in the first year after delivery, and even less were screened after this. Less than 20% of women without GDM were screened for T2D.
Women with GDM were 21.96 times more likely to develop T2D after pregnancy than women without GDM. They were also 85% more likely to develop high blood pressure. Women with GDM were 2.78 times more likely to develop ischemic heart disease than women without GDM. No link between GDM and cerebrovascular disease was found.
The bottom line
The study concluded that women with GDM were more likely to develop T2D, high blood pressure and ischemic heart disease than women without GDM.
The fine print
Less than 1% of women in the study developed ischemic heart disease or cerebrovascular disease. This may have made the results difficult to interpret. Women with GDM were more likely to be screened for T2D and high blood pressure after pregnancy, which may have affected the results.
Discuss the risk of developing T2D and cardiovascular disease after pregnancy with your physician.
Published By :
Jan 01, 2018
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