by Rishika Gupta on  January 22, 2018 at 2:01 PM Health Watch
  • Women who have had Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) may have an increased risk of hypertension and ischemic heart disease in addition to type 2 diabetes later on in life.
  • Women with GDM are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 20 times and ischemic heart disease by two and a half times.
  • In contrast to the guidelines, the annual follow-up screening of women diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, for type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors were very poor.

Women who have Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) may have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in future, finds a new study. The findings of this study are published in PLOS Medicine journal.

Rates of GDM are increasing in most developed countries, and previous research has found that women diagnosed with GDM have an increased lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes- A Risk Factor for Heart Disease

In the new study, researchers studied the incidence of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and ischemic heart and cerebrovascular diseases in a UK primary care database that included more than 9,000 women diagnosed with GDM between 1990 and 2016.

Women diagnosed with GDM were over 20 times more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes later in life, over two and a half times more likely to develop ischemic heart disease and almost twice as likely to develop hypertension.

Although current guidelines recommend annual screening for diabetes in women diagnosed with GDM, the study also found that follow-up screening for diabetes as well as cardiovascular risk factors was low, with the exception of blood pressure; less than 60% of women were screened in the first year post-partum and rates declined thereafter.

"The findings add an important insight into the trajectory of the development of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease in the early and latter post-partum periods," the authors say.

"Furthermore, the findings are the first to report on a large UK population and identify an at-risk group of relatively young women ideally suited for targeting risk factor management to improve long-term metabolic and cardiovascular outcomes."

  1. Barbara Daly, Konstantinos A. Toulis, Neil Thomas, Increased risk of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes in women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus, a target group in general practice for preventive interventions: A population-based cohort study, PLOS Medicine (2018)

Source: Eurekalert

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