Black Women More Prone to Onset Diabetes Later in Life

by Mark Benson on October 24, 2011

African American women more prone

Women who develop gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing adult onset diabetes. New research conducted has shown that ethnicity plays a role in this phenomenon, especially for African-American women.

The study was conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Center of over 77,000 women. The research yielded that African-American women have a lower risk of developing gestational diabetes compared to other women of other races. This condition would later be a health issue as once they develop gestational diabetes, they would have a more than fifty percent risk to develop diabetes.

According to Anny Xiang, Senior Researcher at the Kaiser’s Department of Research and Evaluation said, “All women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus should be screened for diabetes soon after their delivery and subsequently at regular intervals. These women should benefit from lifestyle changes such as changes in diet and increases in physical activity that can reduce diabetes risk.”

The study would be published in the online journal Diabetologia on Oct.27, 2011. In the study, Asian/Pacific Islander race of women have the highest risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus compared to Africa-American, Caucasian and Hispanic women.

She added, “Race and ethnicity should be considered among the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes when physicians and nurses counsel women about their risk of developing diabetes after a pregnancy complicated by GDM.” The complications arising from this condition include premature delivery, cesarean section procedures, increased risk for the infant to develop diabetes and obesity. Other physical issues include macrosomia and other health issues. This condition goes away after the birth of the infant.

Gestational diabetes mellitus is glucose intolerance occurring typically during the second to third trimester of the pregnancy. The race of women with the greatest risk of developing the condition are Asian/Pacific Islander at 17 percent while the women with the lowest risk were African-American women at 7 percent.

The study covered women who gave birth between 1995 and 2009. Their findings determined that African American women have a ten fold greater risk to develop diabetes later in life if they experienced gestational diabetes during the pregnancy. Under the same circumstances, Caucasian women have a 6.5 times greater risk, 7.7 times greater risk for Hispanic women and 6.3 times the risk for Asian/Pacific Islander women.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: