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Gestational diabetes raises diabetes risk

Women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy tend to develop type 2 diabetes within 15 years.

Gestational diabetes raises diabetes risk

Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) tend to develop type 2 diabetes within 15 years. Researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia found that a number of specific predictors for the later development of diabetes can be identified during the pregnancy. They examined the data for 5,470 women with gestational diabetes and 783 women without gestational diabetes seen for postnatal follow-up at the Mercy Hospital for Women between 1971 and 2003. The risk of type 2 diabetes increased with the length of follow-up for both groups. After 15 years, the risk of type 2 diabetes was 26 percent. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 10 times greater for patients with gestational diabetes than for controls at any time during follow-up. Factors that predicted type 2 diabetes, in order of magnitude, included insulin use during pregnancy, Asian race, greater birth weight; and higher than normal results on the 1-hour blood glucose test. The findings suggest that women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus require long-term follow-up to reduce their excess cardiovascular risk.
Diabetes Care,
April 2007
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