Type 2 Diabetes Often Follows Gestational Diabetes
Reported July 30, 2008
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Women who experience diabetes while they’re pregnant are significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes following the birth of their child.
According to Canadian and U.S. researchers who followed 659,000 women, including more than 21,000 with gestational diabetes, for nine years, the incidence of type 2 diabetes was nearly 20 percent in women who had the condition while pregnant. The incidence in women who didn’t experience gestational diabetes was just two percent.
The authors believe these findings suggest a need for better care and follow-up screenings for women who experience gestational diabetes. In an accompanying commentary, Dr. David Simmons, of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation in the United Kingdom, agrees, pointing out women with gestational diabetes often go on to have more children and may enter into another pregnancy with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. That could put both mother and baby at risk, because women with type 2 diabetes are known to experience higher levels of miscarriage, and their infants are more likely to suffer from birth defects or die soon after birth.
In the current study, the rate of type 2 diabetes increased rapidly in the first nine months following delivery in women with gestational diabetes. Incidence of the disease peaked nine years following the birth of the child.
SOURCE: CMAJ, published online July 28, 2008