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Diabetes risk during pregnancy

Developing diabetes while pregnant, known as gestational diabetes, makes a woman highly vulnerable to type 2 diabetes later on.

Diabetes risk during pregnancy

Developing diabetes while pregnant, known as gestational diabetes, makes a woman highly vulnerable to type 2 diabetes later on. Gestational diabetes is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the exact relation between the two conditions is still debatable. To gauge the exact degree of risk that gestational diabetes poses for women, researchers from Canada studied 633,449 women who gave birth between 1995 and 2002. A total of 21,823 (approximately 4 percent) of the women were diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It was found that 19 percent of the women who had gestational diabetes developed type 2 diabetes during the 9-year follow-up period as compared to just 2 percent of those with didn't have gestational diabetes but developed type 2 diabetes later. The probability of gestational diabetes leading to diabetes later on was 4 percent at 9 months after delivery, which increased to 20 percent at 9 years after delivery. The findings suggest that the strongest risk factor for type 2 diabetes was gestational diabetes, which increased the risk more than 37-fold. The researchers recommended women with gestational diabetes to maintain their weight and exercise to lower their risk of developing diabetes mellitus later in life.
Canadian Medical Association Journal
July 2008

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