Type 2 diabetes: gestational diabetes increases the risk of coronary artery disease in black women

Complications of pregnancy, especially gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, are known to increase the risk of coronary artery disease, a condition to which black women are particularly susceptible. Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina in the United States compared black women with a history of any of…

  • Gestational diabetes (148 women),

  • preeclampsia (137 participants), gold

  • preterm birth (154 women),

with 445 black women who had a normal and healthy pregnancy. Their results were reported in July 2019 in the journal Circulation and Cardiovascular Imaging.

In coronary artery disease, the arteries that carry fresh blood to the heart muscle become clogged with plaque, made mostly of cholesterol. Women with any of the complications studied had higher rates of blocked coronary arteries than those without such difficulties. Women with a history of gestational diabetes had more than three times the risk of coronary artery disease as women without pregnancy complications. The other pregnancy complications were associated with a slightly increased risk of coronary artery disease.

Prevention of gestational diabetes consists of…

  • normalize body weight before conception,

  • eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables,

  • gaining only the recommended amount of weight, and

  • exercise regularly.

Coronary artery disease can exist without any signs or symptoms. Often, the disease is detected when the person is at highest risk for the problem. They are then examined with computed tomographic angiography, which is similar to an x-ray that takes pictures of the heart.

The signs and symptoms of the disease are…

  • pain, often described as a feeling of heaviness or tightness in the chest, back, jaw, arms, shoulders or upper abdomen

  • dizziness,

  • weakness or tiredness,

  • nausea and vomiting,

  • the perception of indigestion or heartburn,

  • difficulty breathing,

  • sweating or anxiety, and

  • rapid heartbeat, palpitations and

  • heart skipping beats

When coronary artery disease is diagnosed, patients are advised…

  • to normalize your weight if necessary,

  • eat a diet low in solid fats and rich in fruits and vegetables,

  • leave the tuxedo,

  • exercise as prescribed,

  • reduce stress levels in your life, and to

  • avoid drinking alcohol in excess.

Medications include…

  • cholesterol-lowering medicines to help prevent the arteries from developing more plaque,

  • aspirin to prevent the formation of blood clots in the arteries,

  • beta-blockers to put less pressure on the heart muscle,

  • calcium channel blockers to relax the walls of blood vessels,

  • Ranolazine, an anti-anginal medication, improves blood flow to the heart and

  • Nitroglycerin belongs to a class of drugs known as nitrates and is given to help open the coronary arteries and improve blood flow to the heart.

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) lower blood pressure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *