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04-04-2022 | DUKPC 2022 | Conference coverage | News

Ethnicity, deprivation tied to long-term GDM sequelae

Author: Eleanor McDermid


medwireNews: Being in a minority ethnic group and having low socioeconomic status increase women’s risk for developing certain long-term health complications after a pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes (GDM), a study shows.

Conversely, being of Black or South Asian ethnicity was associated with a decreased risk for developing depression, reported Elpida Vounzoulaki (University of Leicester, UK) at the 2022 Diabetes UK Professional Conference.

The researchers looked at the incidence of recurrent GDM, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and depression in 10,868 women during an average 5.38 years after a first affected pregnancy.

They found that deprivation was associated with all outcomes except depression, and being of Black ethnicity was associated with an increased risk for hypertension and recurrent GDM.

Specifically, women in the highest three quintiles of deprivation according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) were significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those in the least deprived quintile, with the risk more than doubled for those in the fifth quintile.

The same was true for hypertension, while for recurrent GDM the association was significant only for women in the most versus the least deprived IMD quintiles.

Black women had nearly a threefold increased risk for developing hypertension compared with White women and a 1.49-fold increased risk for recurrent GDM, but a 77% reduction in the risk for depression, while South Asian women had a 63% reduced risk for depression.

The women’s data were obtained from the UK’s Clinical Practice Research Datalink and Hospital Episode Statistics records. The overall incidence rates for the four outcomes were 4.79 per 100 person–years for recurrent GDM and 3.86, 2.15, and 0.89 per 100 person–years for depression, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension, respectively.

Obesity and the need for insulin to treat GDM were also associated with the risk for type 2 diabetes, older age and insulin treatment were associated with hypertension, and obesity, current or former smoking, and insulin treatment were associated with the risk for depression.

“We need to reconsider preconceptions about gestational diabetes, focusing on the long-term impact of gestational diabetes on maternal health,” said Vounzoulaki, observing that GDM is often regarded as a transient condition.

Highlighting the associations with ethnicity and socioeconomic status, she argued that this “offers an opportunity for a stratified assessment of this risk in the years following pregnancy.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2022 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

DUKPC 2022; 28 Mar–1 Apr