Heart disease risk increases during pregnancy amongst people with diabetes, research shows

Heart disease risk increases during pregnancy amongst people with diabetes, research shows

Women with gestational diabetes should be offered long-term cardiovascular follow-up and lifestyle advice after giving birth, academics have said. 

A team of researchers have found that people with gestational diabetes are more at risk of developing cardiovascular complications than those without the condition.

During the study, they measured the circulating concentrations of cardiac troponin T (cTNT), N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and growth factor 15 (GDF-15) during pregnancy.

The team assessed data from 384 pregnant women, all of whom either had type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes or euglycemic controls.

In addition, they examined blood samples within a week before delivery. Cardiovascular biomarker concentrations were also measured in serum using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay.

According to the results, circulating cTnT levels were higher in women with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

The findings also show that glucose dysregulation, assessed by third trimester HbA1c levels, positively correlated with all three cardiovascular disease biomarker levels, whereas pregestational body mass index correlated negatively with GDF-15.

The researchers stated: “Our results support the presence of myocardial affection in women with diabetic disorders during pregnancy.

“Although pregestational type 1 diabetes in this study was associated with the most adverse cardiovascular disease biomarker profile, women with gestational diabetes displayed an adverse cTnT profile similar to what we found in women with pregestational type 2 diabetes.”

They added: “This supports that women with gestational diabetes should be offered long-term intensified cardiovascular follow-up and lifestyle advice following delivery, similarly to the well-established cardiovascular follow-up of women with pregestational diabetes.”

The entire research study is available here.

Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

Author: Eileen Gilbert