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Diabet Med. 2009 Nov;26(11):1135-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2009.02825.x.

Maternal arterial stiffness in pregnancies affected by Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital, London, UK.



There is little information about maternal central haemodynamics and arterial stiffness in pregnancies affected by Type 1 diabetes mellitus. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether maternal arterial stiffness is altered in pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes mellitus compared with women with uncomplicated pregnancies.


This was a cross-sectional study involving 37 pregnant women without diabetes and 37 pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes mellitus during the second trimester of pregnancy. Maternal wave reflection (augmentation index) and pulse wave velocity of the carotid-femoral and carotid-radial part of the arterial tree were assessed non-invasively using applanation tonometry.


Pregnant women with normal pregnancies and Type 1 diabetes mellitus had similar augmentation index (3.7 +/- 12.8 vs. 5.1 +/- 12.6%, P = 0.6), even after adjusting for possible confounders. Within the group of diabetic women, augmentation index was associated with duration of diabetes (P = 0.003, r(2) = 0.22) but not with glycated haemoglobin. Pulse wave velocities were similar between the two groups of women (carotid-femoral: 5.6 +/- 0.9 vs. 5.7 +/- 1.1 m/s, P = 0.4; carotid-radial: 7.4 +/- 1.2 vs. 7.8 +/- 1 m/s, P = 0.1). In the diabetic women there was no significant association between the pulse wave velocities and either duration of diabetes or glycated haemoglobin.


Pregnancy in women with Type 1 diabetes mellitus is not associated with altered maternal systemic arterial stiffness. However, maternal wave reflections increase with the duration of diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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