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Gestational diabetes increases risk for later diabetes

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January 5, 2018

Xilin Yang
Xilin Yang

The risk for diabetes in women who previously had gestational diabetes is increased, especially 3 to 6 years after gestational diabetes, according to findings published in Obesity Reviews.

Xilin Yang, PhD, professor and head of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics, School of Public Health at Tianjin Medical University in China, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on 30 studies that included 2,626,905 pregnant women to determine the effect of gestational diabetes on the long-term risk for diabetes.

Participants with previous gestational diabetes had a 7.76-fold increased risk for diabetes compared with participants without previous gestational diabetes (P = .0091). The risk for diabetes in gestational diabetes remained increased compared with no gestational diabetes after adjustment regions of studies, ages at index pregnancy and follow-up, BMI before index pregnancy and at follow-up, the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale score, diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes and parity at follow-up (OR = 17.92; 95% CI, 16.96-18.94).

The risk for diabetes was highest at 3 to less than 6 years after gestational diabetes (RR = 16.16; 95% CI, 9.96-26.24) before and after adjustment for confounding factors (RR = 16.55; 95% CI, 16.08-17.04).

“It is already known that early onset type 2 diabetes greatly increases the risk of micro- and macrovascular disease,” Yang told Endocrine Today. “This high-risk group of women may not only greatly contribute to the burden of diabetes, but also significantly exacerbates the macro-cardiovascular and micro-cardiovascular disease. Our study highlights the importance to initiate lifestyle intervention within 3 years after the gestational diabetes-implicated pregnancy.”

“Several randomized controlled trials are under way to test the effectiveness of lifestyle intervention on the risk of diabetes in women with prior gestational diabetes,” he said. “It is highly expected that these trials can provide strong evidence regarding the benefits of such intervention to this high-risk group of women.” – by Amber Cox

For more information:

Xilin Yang, PhD, can be reached at yxl@hotmail.com.

Disclosures: One author reports being on the editorial board for Obesity Reviews. The other authors report no relevant financial disclosures.