Women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at a 2-fold greater risk for the development of overt cardiovascular disease (CVD) following the effected pregnancy. While subsequent development of type II diabetes elevates this risk, prior GDM is an independent risk factor for CVD morbidity, particularly within the first decade postpartum. GDM is associated with impaired endothelial function during pregnancy and decrements in macro- and microvascular function persist postpartum, despite the remission of insulin resistance following delivery. Collectively, while the association between GDM and elevated lifetime CVD risk is clear, and available evidence demonstrates a link between GDM and vascular dysfunction in the decade following pregnancy, the mechanisms mediating this persistent dysfunction remain unexamined.
The purpose of this investigation is to examine NADPH oxidase as a source of reactive oxygen species contributing to aberrant microvascular function in otherwise healthy women with a history of GDM.
In this study, the investigators use the blood vessels in the skin as a representative vascular bed for examining mechanisms of microvascular dysfunction in humans. Using a minimally invasive technique (intradermal microdialysis for the local delivery of pharmaceutical agents) they examine the blood vessels in a dime-sized area of the skin in women who have had GDM. As a compliment to these measures, the investigators also collect endothelial cells from an antecubital vein and measure NADPH oxidase expression and markers of oxidative stress in these cells.
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