Type 2 Diabetes – A Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes May Lead to Heart Disease Later in Life

According to a study reported on in October of 2017 in JAMA Internal Medicine, women suffering Gestational diabetes, a temporary form of Type 2 diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, may be at long-term risk for developing heart disease.

Scientists at Harvard Medical School and several other research institutions in Boston and Maryland, United States, compared 89,479 women with a history of at least one pregnancy, a total of 1,161 heart attacks and strokes were documented in the individual participant’s medical records…

  • after adjustment for other factors, women with a history of diabetes during their pregnancy or pregnancies were 29 percent more likely to suffer heart and blood vessel disease than the women who had a healthy pregnancy.
  • the women who progressed from Gestational diabetes to Type 2 diabetes later in life, had four times greater risk of heart and blood disease than women who had not experienced Gestational diabetes or Type 2 diabetes.

From these results, researchers concluded a diagnosis of diabetes during pregnancy was linked with a long-term risk of heart and blood vessel disease, but the relationship could have been due to weight gain and following an unhealthy lifestyle.

In September of 2017, the International Journal of Women’s Health published a paper on current knowledge of heart disease in women. Heart specialists at the University of Wisconsin and various other universities in the United States, said heart and blood vessel disease are the leading causes of death in women, accounting for 1 in 4 women’s deaths. Their article listed Gestational diabetes as a risk factor, as well as…

  • other types of diabetes,
  • smoking,
  • high blood pressure,
  • abnormal blood fats,
  • older age,
  • obesity,
  • peripheral vascular disease,
  • a sedentary lifestyle,
  • a family history of heart and blood vessel disease,
  • the Metabolic syndrome,
  • mental stress,
  • autoimmune diseases (where the body’s immune system attacks body tissues),
  • preeclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy),
  • eclampsia (convulsions in pregnancy), and
  • menopause.

Another article in September of 2017, appearing in the Review of Recent Clinical Trials, recommends women who have had Gestational diabetes have their blood sugar levels checked regularly. Diabetes specialists at the University of Maryland in the United States explain heart and blood vessel disease is a danger because of inflammation after having Gestational diabetes.

In August of 2017, specialists at the University of Georgia in the United States published an article in the journal Clinical Cardiology, with much the same recommendations. The Georgians urge physicians to consider…

  • Gestational diabetes,
  • autoimmune disease, and
  • preeclampsia

when protecting female patients from heart and blood vessel disease.