Background Outside of pregnancy diabetes mellitus is an accepted risk factors for cardiovascular disease which should prompt screening for dyslipidaemia in adults.
Objective This prospective study examined the prevalence of dyslipidaemia in postpartum women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Methods Women with GDM were reviewed 6–8 weeks postpartum. A fasting lipid profile was performed. Clinical details were recorded from the medical records, including the woman’s weight and body mass index (BMI) measured at her first antenatal visit.
Results Of the 98 women studied, the mean age was 33.0 years (range 23–45 years) and 30.6% (n = 31) were primigravid. The mean BMI was 30.6 kg/m2 and 52% (n = 51) were obese. The overall prevalence of dyslipidaemia was 52% (n = 51). Total cholesterol was raised in 44% (n = 43), low-density lipoprotein was raised in 33% (n = 32) and triglycerides were raised in 16% (n = 16). Of the 51 women with dyslipidaemia, 73% (n = 37) had more than one abnormality in their lipid profile. The prevalence of dyslipidaemia was 78% (n = 14) in women with moderate to severe obesity (BMI > 34.5 kg/m2) compared with 50% (n = 22) in non-obese women (p < 0.0001). Of the 5 women with an abnormal GTT postpartum, 80% (n = 4) had an abnormal lipid profile.
Conclusion Women with an abnormal GTT in pregnancy should be screened for dyslipidaemia postpartum at the time of their repeat GTT, and if the lipids are abnormal they should be offered cardioprotective interventions and ongoing monitoring of their lipid profile.
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