Autoantibodies in pregnancy signal high risk for impending type 1 diabetes
medwireNews: Women with gestational diabetes who also have autoantibodies are highly likely to go on and develop type 1 diabetes, research shows.
In a retrospective review, 50% of 12 autoantibody-positive women went on to develop type 1 diabetes, compared with just 3.4% of 59 who were negative.
Presenting the findings at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference in Liverpool, Rebecca Scott (Imperial College London, UK) noted that women in their clinic are tested purely because of clinical suspicion, because their diagnosis of gestational diabetes “just doesn’t feel right,” due to, for example, the absence of traditional risk factors.
But the women who proved to have autoantibodies were clinically indistinguishable from those who did not have them, she reported.
Four of the women who developed diabetes were diagnosed because of asymptomatic rising glycated hemoglobin (between 6 months and 3 years postpartum), one because of persistently raised post-prandial blood sugar, and one because of diabetic ketoacidosis in pregnancy.
Scott noted that knowing if women with atypical gestational diabetes are autoantibody positive will not affect how their pregnancies are managed, “but afterwards we would give them different advice and they may well receive different treatment.”
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