Both Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and preeclampsia (PE) are complications of pregnancy. They have similar risk factors and cause similar pathophysiological changes. If a woman suffering from either, gets impacted by the other diseasem it significantly increases the risk of perinatal adverse events for both the maternal and offspring health.
What is preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy due to which the pregnant woman experiences high blood pressure and high protein levels in urine, indicating proteinuria or kidney damage or other organ damage signs. It was earlier called toxemia. Generally, it begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure range was previously normal. If it is left untreated, it can cause complications for both the mother and baby and, in a worst-case scenario, can even be fatal. Preeclampsia is considered to be a leading cause of maternal morbidity. This disease is linked with adverse fetal outcomes, such as preterm birth, placental abruption, intrauterine growth restriction, fetal distress, and fetal death.
What is the correlation between gestational diabetes and preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is considered to be caused as a potential complications of gestational diabetes mellitus. An article published in the Early Human Development in 2012, states that an GDM was found to be an independent risk factor for PE. The common risk factors for both the diseases are nulliparity (never having a pregnancy that lasted beyond 20 weeks), multiple gestation pregnancies (having more than one baby) and an increased maternal age. Also, the most crucial predictor for both the diseases was found to be an increased pre-pregnancy body mass index.
A research published on ‘Preeclampsia and Diabetes,’ states that even though the pathophysiological pathway is still not clear, but Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) increases the risk of preeclampsia. Therefore, further research is needed to examine the pathophysiology, treatment, and the long-term effects of preeclampsia among women with gestational diabetes.
Lastly, as published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, research done on 400,000 pregnant women concluded that there is an independent association on the occurrence of GDM with an increased risk of preeclampsia. Researchers believe that an increased insulin resistance and preeclampsia are associated.
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