Gestational Diabetes Increases Risk Of Later Diabetes In African-American Women

November 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Diabetes Information

Retrospective analysis of medical data shows that African American women with  gestational diabetes are nearly 10 times as likely to develop later diabetes. 

Anny H. Xiang, MD, of Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, reviewed 140,000 cases occurring between 1995 and 2008 of pregnant women. While the prevalence of gestational diabetes were similar among African-American and white women, in the years following their pregnancies, blacks had a 9.2 times higher risk for developing full-fledged diabetes.

Other ethnic groups have a higher prevalence of  gestational diabetes than African American women, though less risk for later diabetes. Hispanic women had the next highest incidence rate of later diabetes, with Asian/Pacific women having the lowest risk.

"Whether this difference is due to genetics, environment, lifestyle, or other differences among ethnic groups will require further investigation," they wrote.

They concluded that ethnicity should be considered in screening and counseling women who develop gestational diabetes, and particularly for blacks.

Women with gestational diabetes often control their blood glucose levels through diet and exercise and medications like insulin, if prescribed. Fetal complications such as macrosomia ("big baby syndrome") and jaundice are common in unresolved cases.


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