Mild glucose intolerance in pregnancy could predict heart disease risk

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Washington, Aug 25 (ANI): A new study has found that mild glucose intolerance in pregnancy could be an early identifier of women who are at higher risk of heart disease.

In a large population-based cohort study, researchers from the University of Toronto and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) studied data on 435,696 women in Ontario, Canada, who gave birth between April, 1994 and March, 1998.

All women were followed until March 31, 2008. The study excluded women with pre-existing diabetes.

While women with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those without, it previously has not been known whether mild glucose intolerance in pregnancy is associated with heart disease. The study sought to answer this question.

Gestational diabetes is a condition leading to temporarily high blood sugars during pregnancy. It is an important risk factor for future type 2 diabetes.

Women are generally screened for gestational diabetes with a glucose challenge test in the late second trimester. If the result is abnormal, they go on to have an oral glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis.

"Women who had an abnormal glucose challenge test but then did not have gestational diabetes had an increased risk of future cardiovascular disease compared to the general population, but a lower risk than women who actually did have gestational diabetes," said Dr. Baiju Shah, Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences and co-author.

They suggest that "in women with glucose intolerance during pregnancy, type 2 diabetes and vascular disease may develop in parallel, which is consistent with the "common soil" hypothesis for these conditions."

Current screening procedures for gestational diabetes might also provide a means for the early identification of women who are at risk for developing heart disease later in life.

The study has been published in published in Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). (ANI)

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