Thursday, 19 March 2015

2 Factors Greatly Boost New Moms' Odds of Type 2 Diabetes


Gestational diabetes, followed by weight gain after delivery significantly raise the risk, study finds

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Obese women who develop diabetes during pregnancy, and then gain 11 pounds or more after giving birth, have more than a 40 times higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Diabetes that develops during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. While this type of diabetes often disappears after pregnancy, it's long been known that women who've had the condition have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Background information in the new study pointed out that as many as one-third of women with type 2 diabetes had a history of gestational diabetes.

Excess weight is a risk factor for both gestational and type 2 diabetes, according to the researchers.

"Our findings show the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight both before and after pregnancy," said lead researcher Dr. Cuilin Zhang, a senior investigator in the epidemiology branch at the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

"Women should strive to maintain a healthy body weight over their lives to lower the risk of diabetes," Zhang added.

The report was published March 18 in the journal Diabetologia.

Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that type 2 diabetes is not a sudden occurrence, but develops over time.

"It's probably a 15-year process that begins with insulin resistance as cells in the pancreas start working less," he said. "When a woman has gestational diabetes, it's telling you that they are already on the pathway to diabetes, and even a small amount of weight gain can put them over the edge."

Roslin said the most common patient he sees is a woman who gains weight during and after several pregnancies. "It becomes a vicious circle," he said.

The only way for these women to prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes is to lose weight and exercise, Roslin suggested. "Exercise is tremendously important," he said. "There is a huge link between exercise and improvement in insulin resistance."

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