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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Pregnancy loss is associated with type 2 diabetes: a nationwide case-control study

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AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Type 2 diabetes is killing more people than ever, and early-life predictors remain critical for the development of effective preventive strategies. Pregnancy loss is a common event associated with later atherosclerotic disease and ischaemic heart failure and might constitute a predictor for type 2 diabetes. The objective of this study was to investigate whether pregnancy loss is associated with later development of type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: Using a Danish nationwide cohort, we identified all women born from 1957 through to 1997 and who had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes during the period 1977 to 2017. The women were matched 1:10 on year of birth and educational level to women without diabetes in the general Danish population. Conditional logistic regression models provided odds ratios for type 2 diabetes with different numbers of pregnancy losses.

RESULTS: We identified 24,774 women with type 2 diabetes and selected 247,740 controls without diabetes. Women who had ever been pregnant (ever-pregnant women) with 1, 2 and ≥ 3 pregnancy losses had ORs of type 2 diabetes of 1.18 (95% CI 1.13, 1.23), 1.38 (95% CI 1.27, 1.49) and 1.71 (95% CI 1.53, 1.92) compared with ever-pregnant women with no pregnancy losses, respectively. Women who never achieved a pregnancy had an OR of type 2 diabetes of 1.56 (95% CI 1.51, 1.61) compared with ever-pregnant women with any number of losses. Similar results were found after adjustment for obesity and gestational diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: We found a significant and consistent association between pregnancy loss and later type 2 diabetes that increased with increasing number of losses. Thus, pregnancy loss and recurrent pregnancy loss are significant risk factors for later type 2 diabetes. Future studies should explore whether this association is due to common background factors or whether prediabetic metabolic conditions are responsible for this association. Graphical abstract.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1521-1529
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

    Research areas

  • Miscarriage, Pregnancy loss, Recurrent pregnancy loss, Reproduction, Type 2 diabetes

ID: 59909145