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Intimate Partner Violence: A Risk Factor for Gestational Diabetes

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Biomedical Research and Innovation Platform (BRIP), South African Medical Research Council, P.O. Box 19070, Tygerberg, Cape Town 7505, South Africa
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Division of Medical Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, P.O. Box 19063, Tygerberg, Cape Town 7505, South Africa
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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X169, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7843; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217843
Received: 8 September 2020 / Revised: 14 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 26 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gestational Diabetes: Epidemiology around the World)
The early detection and management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is an important public health goal. GDM, which is defined as a glucose intolerance that develops during pregnancy, affects about 14% of pregnancies globally, and without effective treatment, it is associated with adverse short- and long-term maternal and neonatal outcomes. Risk-factor screening is an acceptable and affordable strategy to enable risk stratification and intervention. However, common biological risk factors such as overweight or obesity, excessive gestational weight gain, and family history of diabetes often have poor predictive ability, failing to identify a large proportion of women at risk of developing GDM. Accumulating evidence implicate psychosocial factors in contributing to GDM risk. As such, intimate partner violence (IPV), through its contributing effects on maternal stress and depression, presents a plausible risk factor for GDM. Experiencing IPV during pregnancy may dysregulate the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, leading to increased cortisol secretion and insulin resistance. These effects may exacerbate the insulin-resistant environment characteristic of pregnancy, thus increasing GDM risk. This review explores the relationship between IPV and GDM. We highlight studies that have linked IPV with GDM and propose a biological mechanism that connects IPV and GDM. Recommendations for IPV screening strategies to prevent GDM are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: intimate partner violence; stress; depression; pregnancy; insulin resistance; gestational diabetes mellitus intimate partner violence; stress; depression; pregnancy; insulin resistance; gestational diabetes mellitus
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Pheiffer, C.; Dias, S.; Adam, S. Intimate Partner Violence: A Risk Factor for Gestational Diabetes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7843.

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