Increased Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness in Pregnant Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Pregnant women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus are at increased risk of progressive carotid artery disorders. The current study evaluated carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in pregnant women with gestational diabetes at two time points of mid-term and full-term pregnancy to determine whether gestational diabetes mellitus causes increased IMT.
This cross-sectional study carried out at Afzalipour Hospital (Kerman, Iran) between 2009 and 2010, recruited 50 women who were at high risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy and had an oral glucose challenge test (OGCT) as screening for gestational diabetes. B-mode ultrasound scans were performed at baseline and at two time points of mid-term pregnancy (20 to 24 weeks) and full-term pregnancy (36 to 38 weeks) on all the participants. The mean IMT of common carotids and internal carotid arteries from two walls (near and far walls) at four different angles was assessed.
An overall comparison between the impaired OGCT test group and the control group revealed significant differences in carotid IMT in the mid-term (0.65 ± 0.07 vs. 0.59 ± 0.06 mm; p value = 0.002) and full-term (0.65 ± 0.05 vs. 0.59 ± 0.04 mm; p value < 0.001) pregnancy; however, the trend of the changes in carotid IMT during mid to full-term pregnancy was insignificant in each group (p value > 0.05).
Carotid IMT was significantly higher in the women with gestational diabetes than that in the normoglycemic group in different trimesters. This finding denotes that atherosclerosis might start years before the diagnosis of gestational diabetes in vulnerable women.
The Journal of Tehran University Heart Center, Volume:7 Issue: 4, Oct 2012
156 to 159  
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