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    Pregnancy weight gain can take cardiovascular toll in just a year



    Failure to lose any ‘baby weight’ in the first year postpartum could increase a woman’s risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, over the long term, according to a recent study in Diabetes Care.

    A research team at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto studied 305 women who underwent cardiometabolic characterization during pregnancy and at 3 and 12 months postpartum. The women were divided into 4 groups: loss/loss, gain/loss, loss/gain, and gain/gain based on weight change between pre-pregnancy and postpartum and between 3 and 12 months postpartum.

    Most of the women (81%) weighed more at 3 months postpartum than they did pre-pregnancy. Between 3 and 12 months postpartum, most women (74.4%) lost weight. At the 3-month postpartum measurement, modest differences between the 4 groups were seen in mean adjusted low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (P= 0.01) and apolipoprotein (apoB; P= 0.02). However, no significant changes were seen in adjusted blood pressure, fasting and 2-h glucose, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), adiponectin, and C-reactive protein.

    By 12 months postpartum, though, changes were seen in mean adjusted diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.02), HOMA-IR (P = 0.0003), LDL (P = 0.001), and apoB (P< 0.0001), progressively increasing from loss/loss to gain/loss to loss/gain to gain/gain. Mean adjusted adiponectin showed a stepwise decrease across the groups (P = 0.003).

    The researchers concluded that women who did not lose weight between 3 and 12 months after delivery develop an adverse cardiometabolic profile as soon as 1 year postpartum. They urged doctors to work with their patients to lose at least some of the weight gained during pregnancy. The investigators urged for further research, particularly looking at weight and metabolic risk factors for 2 to 3 more years post-partum. 



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    Miranda Hester
    Ms. Hester is Content Specialist with Contemporary OB/GYN and Contemporary Pediatrics.


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