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A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine involving more than 91,000 female participants 25 to 42 years old reveals that moms with a history of gestational diabetes face a slightly increased risk of mortality over a 30-year period compared to those without a history of the condition. The researchers found that women reporting a gestational diabetes diagnosis were 1.28 times more likely to experience mortality—a rate of 1.74 per 1,000 person-years compared to 1.49 for women without a gestational diabetes history. Lifestyle factors, including low-quality diet, heavy smoking, overweight or obesity, low physical activity levels, excessive alcohol consumption, hypercholesterolemia, and chronic hypertension contributed to the association, regardless of whether women developed type 2 diabetes following their pregnancy.

It’s not insignificant: As many as 10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes, and about half of those moms go on to develop type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lowering risk factors before pregnancy is recommended.

Gestational Diabetes and Long-Term Health
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