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History of GDM Tied to Cardiovascular, Cerebrovascular Disease Risk

Increase in risk lessened, but still statistically significant for women who did not go on to develop subsequent overt diabetes

MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, according to a review published online Sept. 21 in The BMJ.

Wenhui Xie, from Peking University First Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to quantify the overall and type-specific risks for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, as well as venous thromboembolism in women with a history of GDM.

Based on 15 studies, the researchers found that compared with women without GDM, those with a history of GDM had an increased risk for overall cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases (risk ratio [RR], 1.45), cardiovascular diseases (RR, 1.72), and cerebrovascular diseases (RR, 1.40). Specifically, women with GDM showed increased risks for incident coronary artery diseases (RR, 1.40), myocardial infarction (RR, 1.74), heart failure (RR, 1.62), angina pectoris (RR, 2.27), cardiovascular procedures (RR, 1.87), stroke (RR, 1.45), and ischemic stroke (RR, 1.49). There was also increased risk for venous thromboembolism for women with previous GDM (RR, 1.28). The risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases was diminished but remained significant when limited to women who did not develop subsequent overt diabetes (all GDM: RR, 1.45; GDM without subsequent diabetes: RR, 1.09). Certainty of evidence was rated as low or very low quality.

“Gestational diabetes mellitus is associated with increased risks of overall and type specific cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases that cannot be solely attributed to conventional cardiovascular risk factors or subsequent diabetes,” the authors write.

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