Gestational Diabetes Associated With Greater Risk Of Heart Attack and Stroke Interview with:

Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD Senior Investigator, Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research NICHD/National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD 20817 

Dr. Zhang

Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD
Senior Investigator
Epidemiology Branch
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
NICHD/National Institutes of Health.
Bethesda, MD 20817 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a common pregnancy complication. The American Heart Association identifies gestational diabetes as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women, based on consistent evidence for the relationships between gestational diabetes and subsequent hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, vascular dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Also, previous studies identify GDM as a risk factor for intermediate markers of CVD risk; however, few are prospective, evaluate hard cardiovascular disease end points, or account for shared risk factors including body weight and lifestyle. What are the main findings?

Response: In the present study, we observed that women with a history of GDM had 43% greater risk of CVD (myocardial infarction or stroke) compared with women without prior gestational diabetes, although absolute rates in this cohort were low. Adhering to healthy lifestyle factors over follow-up mitigated this modestly elevated risk. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Although women with prior gestational diabetes have a higher risk of  cardiovascular disease, adhering to a healthy lifestyle may offset this risk What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future studies with continuous follow up of these women are warranted to evaluate longer-term health implications of GDM history.

No disclosures: Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Deirdre K. Tobias, ScD et al. Association of History of Gestational Diabetes With Long-term Cardiovascular Disease Risk in a Large Prospective Cohort of US Women. JAMA Internal Medicine, October 2017 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.2790

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.







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