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Coronary Artery Calcification Risk Up With Gestational Diabetes

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2021 -- Women with a history of gestational diabetes (GD) have an increased risk for coronary artery calcification (CAC) across all subsequent levels of glucose tolerance, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Circulation.

Erica P. Gunderson, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues obtained data from a community-based cohort of young Black and White adults aged 18 to 30 years at baseline, including 1,133 women without diabetes at baseline (1985 to 1986) who had at least one singleton birth during follow-up. Participants underwent glucose tolerance testing at baseline and up to five times during 25 years of follow-up.

Overall, 12.3 percent of the 1,133 women reported GD. The researchers found that 25 percent of the women with GD and 15 percent of the women without GD had CAC. The adjusted hazard ratios (95 percent confidence intervals) were 1.54 (1.06 to 2.24) for no GD/prediabetes, 2.17 (1.30 to 3.62) for no GD/incident diabetes, 2.34 (1.34 to 4.09) for GD/normoglycemia, 2.13 (1.09 to 4.17) for GD/prediabetes, and 2.02 (0.98 to 4.19) for GD/incident diabetes (overall P = 0.003) compared with no GD/normoglycemia.

"Diabetes and other health problems that develop during pregnancy serve as early harbingers of future chronic disease risk, particularly heart disease," Gunderson said in a statement. "Health care systems need to integrate the individual's history of gestational diabetes into health records and monitor risk factors for heart disease."

One author disclosed financial ties to Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

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