Link found between pre-eclampsia and diabetes later in life

Research led by Keele University and published this week in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) has identified a new link between pre-eclampsia in pregnancy and the development of diabetes in later life.

The condition, which results in and in the mother's urine, affects 5-8% of pregnancies and is the most common cause of severe perinatal ill health. The study showed that pre-eclampsia is independently associated with a two-fold increase in future . This increased risk occurs from less than one year after delivery of the baby and persisted to over 10 years after birth.

Dr Pensee Wu, Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Keele University's Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine, is the first author of this publication and said:

"This study highlights the importance of clinical risk assessment and follow-up for the future development of diabetes in women with pre-eclampsia. Understanding of health conditions during pregnancy and their impact on health over a woman's life is vital in the prevention of conditions such as diabetes.

"Ensuring women are screened regularly and take preventative measures through diet and exercise could help reduce the number of women who later contract diabetes after experiencing pre-eclampsia during pregnancy."

The study involved a systematic review of over the past 10 years, much of which was conflicting about the impact of pre-eclampsia later in life.

The understanding of the long-term impact of women's health following pre-eclampsia is, however, growing. The American Heart Association has linked pre-eclampsia to longer term cardiac conditions.

"Diabetes is a multi-organ condition. If we can prevent it from developing early on, it could dramatically reduce the risks of serious health issues later in life for women after birth," says Dr Wu.

Researchers hope that dissemination of this study to clinicians, particularly those in Primary Care health provision, will inform practice and longer term preventative measures.

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More information: Pensee Wu et al. Pre-eclampsia is associated with a twofold increase in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Diabetologia (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s00125-016-4098-x
Journal information: Diabetologia

Provided by Keele University
Citation: Link found between pre-eclampsia and diabetes later in life (2016, September 22) retrieved 20 January 2020 from
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