• Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy Is Linked To Heart Risk

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    Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Based on recently announced diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, it is estimated that gestational diabetes affects 18% of pregnancies. Gestational diabetes affects the mother in late pregnancy, after the baby's body has been formed, but while the baby is busy growing. Because of this, gestational diabetes does not cause the kinds of birth defects sometimes seen in babies whose mothers had diabetes before pregnancy.

    Women with gestational diabetes – a form of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy and then typically disappears – may have an increased risk of developing heart disease later in life, Counsel and Heal reported.

    In a 20-year study, researchers analyzed data from 898 women between the ages of 18 to 30. Before becoming pregnant, each woman was assessed in order to determine her risk of developing heart disease later in life.

    Then, as the women began to have children, they were reassessed and tested for diabetes and other metabolic conditions. An average of 12 years after giving birth, the thickness of each woman’s carotid artery wall was also measured.

    The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, revealed that women with a history of gestational diabetes went on to develop thicker carotid arteries, compared to women who never had gestational diabetes.

    “This finding indicates that a history of gestational diabetes may …

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