Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is an established predisposing condition for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, it is not thoroughly evaluated whether MetS increases the risk of T2DM in women with a previous history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) who already at high risk of T2DM compared with the general population. We investigated the impact of MetS on the development of postpartum diabetes in women with a history of GDM.
This was a multicenter, prospective cohort study of women diagnosed with GDM. The follow-up evaluations, including the oral glucose tolerance test, were completed at 6 weeks postpartum and annually thereafter. MetS was diagnosed at the initial postpartum evaluation according to the revised criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in the follow-up period was analyzed based on the presence of MetS, and the adjusted risk was calculated using a Cox proportional hazards model.
A total of 412 women without diabetes at the initial postpartum evaluation participated in the annual follow-up for median 3.8 years. MetS was prevalent in 66 (19.2%) women at the initial postpartum evaluation. The incidences of diabetes in women with and without MetS were 825 and 227 per 10,000 person-years, respectively (P < 0.001). The presence of MetS was an independent risk factor for T2DM, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.23 (95% confidence interval 1.04–5.08) in multivariate analysis after adjustment for clinical and metabolic parameters. When we considered MetS and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) separately, women with MetS, IFG, or both had an increased risk of T2DM, with HRs of 4.17, 4.36, and 6.98, respectively.
The presence of MetS during the early postpartum period is an independent risk factor for the development of T2DM in women with a previous history of GDM.