A recent study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows women with gestational diabetes can decrease and eliminate their threat of cardiovascular disease by following a healthy lifestyle.
According to the Nurse’s Health Study II, women who have a healthy lifestyle in the years after giving birth can reduce and even eliminate their risk for cardiovascular disease, according to an announcement. The study also helps confirm links between gestational diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Researchers were led by Dr. Cuilin Zhang from the NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The researchers followed the health habits and medical history of over 90,000 women from prepregnancy to middle age and into their early senior years. The study showed that women who did not adopt a healthy lifestyle such as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and doing moderate exercise had a 43 percent higher risk for cardiovascular disease, particularly heart attack and stroke.
Although gestational diabetes often disappears in many women after giving birth, some women who had the condition develop Type 2 diabetes later, especially around middle age.