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Gestational diabetes linked to increased future risk of heart disease

Gestational diabetes linked to increased future risk of heart disease

CANADA: Women with gestational diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy are known to have an elevated lifetime risk of type 2 diabetes. However, a research review published in the journal Diabetologia has found that such women are also at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the decade after childbirth. 

Recently, some studies have suggested an association between gestational diabetes and risk of an increased risk of CVD. But it is unclear if this risk is dependent upon the inter current development of type 2 diabetes. Ravi Retnakaran, Division of Endocrinology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, and colleagues conducted systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the impact of gestational diabetes on future risk of incident CVD and to ascertain the role of type 2 diabetes in this regard.

For the purpose, researchers examined data from nine previous studies with almost 5.4 million mothers.

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Also Read: Gestational diabetes increases risk of heart disease in baby ,Study finds

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Key findings of the study include:

  • Compared with those who did not have gestational diabetes, women with GDM had a twofold higher risk of future cardiovascular events.
  • Meta-regression analysis showed that the rates of incident type 2 diabetes across the studies did not affect this risk .
  • When restricted to women who did not develop type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes remained associated with a 56% higher risk of future cardiovascular event.
  • Gestational diabetes conferred a 2.3-fold increased risk of cardiovascular events in the first decade postpartum.
  • Overall, about 8,000 women with a history of gestational diabetes experienced cardiovascular events, as did more than 93,000 women without this pregnancy complication.

Also Read: Early screening for gestational diabetes not beneficial, Study refutes ACOG guidance

“The diagnosis of gestational diabetes identifies young women who have a twofold higher risk of cardiovascular events postpartum compared with their peers. This risk is not dependent upon intercurrent type 2 diabetes and is apparent within the first decade after pregnancy,” write the authors.

Women who do develop gestational diabetes may need regular heart health checkups even while they’re still relatively young, they concluded.

For detailed study log on to

Source: With inputs from Diabetologia

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