Pregnancy-Related Diabetes Linked with Potential Heart Risk


Expecting mothers who develop gestational diabetes may be at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease in the future, a long-term study indicates.

Gestational diabetes evolves just in pregnancy and frequently disappears after pregnancy. It does, nevertheless, enhance a woman’s risk for type 2 diabetes later on years.

The new research discovered that gestational diabetes may alsoenhance a woman’s chance of heart problems in middle age and prior to developing diabetes or metabolic syndrome, several symptoms and conditions recognized to raise the likelihood of heart complications.

The research covered almost 900 women, aged 18 to 30, in the United States that had one or more pregnancies and were followed for twenty years. Of these women, 13% got gestational diabetes.

The width of the women’s neck (carotid) arteries was examined around Twelve years after pregnancy, once they were aged 38 to 50. Thickening of the neck arteries — called atherosclerosis — is an early indication of heart problems.


Among women that didn’t get diabetes or metabolic syndrome throughout the Twenty years of follow-up, individuals who had gestational diabetes had increased thickness in their neck arteries compared to those who did not have gestational diabetes.

The research was published on March 12 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“This finding suggests that a history of gestational diabetes may influence development of early atherosclerosis prior to the start of diabetes and metabolic diseases that previously have been associated with heart disease,” lead author Erica Gunderson, a senior research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, said in a journal news release.

“Gestational diabetes may be an early risk factor for heart disease in women,” she said.

The research discovered a connection between pregnancy-related diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk. It didn’t demonstrate cause-and-effect.

By — Robert Preidt of HealthDay

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