Type 2 diabetes during pregnancy more common in South Asian women

Type 2 Diabetes During Pregnancy More Common In South Asian Women
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South Asian women or women of South Asian ancestry are more likely to acquire type 2 diabetes during their pregnancy, according to a recent study published in eLife. The finding is anticipated to identify potential patients who need treatment to avoid developing gestational diabetes or becoming diabetic while pregnant.

The Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Population Health and senior scientist at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), McMaster University, and Hamilton Health Sciences, Sonia Anand, stated that the study’s findings “support the idea that type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes share a common genetic background.” If subsequent research corroborates our findings, this information may be used to determine which women might benefit most from measures to help avoid diabetes during pregnancy.

Researchers examined the connection between gestational diabetes, environmental variables, and genes linked to type 2 diabetes. In 837 and 4,372 South Asian women, they looked at whether possessing genetic markers associated with type 2 diabetes risk were also associated with gestational diabetes.

Using a polygenic risk score, which calculates an individual’s hereditary chance of contracting a disease based on the number of risk alleles they possess, the researchers assessed the genetic risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers discovered that South Asian women with higher type 2 diabetes polygenic risk scores also had a higher probability of acquiring gestational diabetes; each small increase in the score was connected to a 45% rise in this risk.

When the researchers looked at the risk of gestational diabetes at the population level, they discovered that having a polygenic risk score in the highest one-third explained 12.5% of the risk among South Asian women. 25% of the risk of developing gestational diabetes might be explained by the combination of a family history of type 2 diabetes and a polygenic risk score in the top third.


What is Type 2 diabetes?

The Mayo Clinic defines Type 2 diabetes as a problem with how the body controls and uses sugar (glucose) as fuel. This chronic (long-term) disorder causes the bloodstream to circulate with an excessive amount of sugar. Over time, cardiovascular, neurological, and immune system issues might result from excessive blood sugar levels.

What is Gestational diabetes?

When a blood sugar test taken during pregnancy shows elevated blood sugar levels, indicating either insufficient or resistance to insulin production, this is known as gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar, similar to other types of diabetes (glucose). High blood sugar levels brought on by gestational diabetes can harm both you and your unborn child’s health.

Why are women from South Asia at risk?

People of South Asian ancestry are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Additionally, compared to women of European heritage, these women are twice as likely to get gestational diabetes during pregnancy. However, it is still unclear why South Asians are more likely to develop these two illnesses.

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