(RxWiki News) Pregnant women who experience gestational diabetes may have an increased risk of heart disease later on, a new study found.
However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle may reduce this raised risk of heart disease, according to the researchers behind this study. Also, the overall rate of heart disease was relatively low in the study group.
Gestational diabetes is marked by the body's inability to properly process glucose during pregnancy. This study followed up with more than 90,000 younger women in this study for around 26 years. More than 5,000 of these women had a history of gestational diabetes.
The authors of this study examined strokes and heart attacks among the study participants. Overall, women with a history of gestational diabetes appeared somewhat more likely than other women to experience one of these events.
Women who didn't smoke, ate a healthy diet, exercised and maintained a healthy weight appeared to lower their risk of heart disease, this study found.
These researchers didn't examine the reasons for the apparent connection between gestational diabetes and heart disease. They noted that the study included a younger group of primarily white women, which could mean that their findings don't necessarily extend to all women.
If you are concerned about your risk for heart disease, ask your health care provider how to keep your heart healthy.
This study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The National Institutes of Health and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funded this research. The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.