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Chinese Women with Gestational Diabetes Prone to Type 2 Diabetes

A study found that Chinese women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and hypertension compared to pregnant women with normal recorded glucose tolerance.

The investigation participated by 139 Chinese women (45 of which have gestational diabetes and 94 registered a normal glucose tolerance at the onset of pregnancy) was spearheaded by Dr. Wing hung Tam of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The team assessed the women’s insulin sensitivity and beta cell function for 8 years and another round of testing 15 years after.

“At 15 years, data show” that 35.6 percent of women with gestational diabetes are hypertensive and 24.4 percent have diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “This is in comparison to 16 and 5.3 percent hypertension and diabetes rates recorded for women without gestational diabetes, respectively.”

The study also found that women with gestational diabetes have higher rates of impaired glucose regulation (26.6 versus 14.9 percent) and higher plasma triglyceride levels (1.33 versus 1.06 mmol/L) compared to women with normal glucose tolerance. “On multivariate analysis, the women with history of gestational diabetes had an eightfold increased risk of progression to diabetes and a 3.3-fold increased risk of developing hypertension compared to women with normal pregnancies,” the researchers noted.

In addition, the researchers also said that the conversion rate to type 2 diabetes increased steadily at an average rate of 1.6 percent per year following a pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes. They press the need to educate women diagnosed with gestational diabetes about their future risk and prescribe lifestyle modifications. “We should offer regular assessments for women in this high-risk group,” Dr. Tam added.

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