GDM May Up Risk for Range of Later Cardiovascular Conditions

Traditional risk factors such as subsequent diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia only partially contribute to higher risk

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THURSDAY, Feb. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with an increased risk for diverse cardiovascular outcomes later in life, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, held virtually from Jan. 31 to Feb. 5.

Seung Mi Lee, M.D., from the Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, and colleagues examined whether women with a history of GDM have an increased risk for long-term overall cardiovascular outcomes. The analysis included 219,330 women who reported at least one live birth.

The researchers found that women with a history of GDM had an increased risk for total cardiovascular outcomes. Among women with a history of GDM, there was an increased risk for the new occurrence of coronary artery disease (hazard ratio [HR], 1.330), myocardial infarction (HR, 1.678), ischemic stroke (HR, 1.696), peripheral artery disease (HR, 1.064), heart failure (HR, 1.426), mitral regurgitation (HR, 2.276), and atrial fibrillation/flutter (HR, 1.474) when adjusting for confounding variables. Subsequent overt diabetes explained 23 percent of the association between GDM and overall cardiovascular outcome, while hypertension explained 11 percent and dyslipidemia explained 10 percent of the association.

"This research shows us the extent of heart health problems that can arise long after someone has given birth," Lee said in a statement. "The next step is to look at what kind of preventative measures can be taken during pregnancy to hopefully prevent cardiovascular disease from developing later in life."

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Physician’s Briefing Staff

Updated on May 23, 2022

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