Wednesday, February 22, 2012


In our attempt to prevent heart disease, more and more emphasis have rightly been placed on identifying coronary risk factors, since we cannot cure the disease. Women have traditionally been thought to be somewhat protected from premature CAD by the estrogen in their system. At least until menopause that is.
Well, there is this study, by Dr Abigail Fraser, in the 12th Feb issue of Circulation, which reported his observations that gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia are also coronary risk factors. Dr Fraser and colleagues from the University of Bristol, UK, followed up for 18 years, 3,416 ladies ( they were part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, ALSPAC cohort ) , who had gestational diabetes, and pre-eclampsia and found that after 18 years they had a 30% increas incidence of CAD compared to those who did not. Mind you, these ladies were mean age 48 years old at the end of follow-up. Those who had small for age babies were found to have a 10% increase risk after 18 years.
Gestational diabetes, increases coronary risk mainly due to diabetes mellitus per se, whereas those who had pre-eclampsia, seem to have more complicated relationship to CAD, from hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome, etc..
The message would be that those who have gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and small for age babies, should let their doctors know, as part of their history taking and doctors must learn to look for these factors, as it should be factored in, in their risk profile assessment.
So ladies, stay healthy please.

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