Gestational diabetes may predispose women to early-stage kidney damage, a precursor to chronic kidney disease, according to a study by researchers at the NIH and other institutions.
“Our findings suggest that women who have had gestational diabetes may benefit from periodic checkups to detect early-stage kidney damage and receive subsequent treatment,” Cuilin Zhang, MD, MPH, PhD, the study’s senior author from the epidemiology branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), said in a press release. Zhang and colleagues found women who had gestational diabetes were more likely to have a high glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
The study, which appears in Diabetes Care, was conducted as part of the NICHD-funded Diabetes & Women’s Health Study. Researchers collected blood and urine samples and analyzed data from Danish women who had pregnancies from 1996 through 2002. Data included results from tests for diabetes and kidney function at an average of 13 years after pregnancy.
According to the release, investigators found 601 women had gestational diabetes and 613 did not have the condition. Women who had gestational diabetes and later developed diabetes were approximately nine-times more likely to have an elevated GFR later in life compared to women who did not have gestational diabetes. Women who only had gestational diabetes had more than triple the risk of an elevated GFR.