The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is 18 per cent higher among women who experience one miscarriage, researchers have said.

The study, carried out by the Copenhagen University Hospital, has also suggested that the risk increases with each successive miscarriage.

So, women who experienced the devasting loss twice were at a 38 per cent higher risk, and three miscarriages increased the chances by 71 per cent.

The trial involved more than 24,700 Danish women born who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 1977 and 2017. In addition, 247,740 women were recruited, who did not have the condition.

Lead author Dr Pia Egerup said: “We cannot rule out that the psychological distress related to pregnancy loss can initiate lifestyle changes that increase BMI and thereby the risk of type 2 diabetes.

“We only had information about BMI for 12 per cent of cases and 17 per cent of controls as this information was first recorded in pregnant women from 2004.

“However, our subgroup analysis in which we adjusted for obesity still showed a significant association between pregnancy loss and type 2 diabetes, with more losses leading to a higher risk.

“This subgroup analysis indicated that the higher risk for type 2 diabetes in women with pregnancy losses cannot be explained by obesity alone.”

The study authors say the link between miscarriage and type 2 diabetes could be down to shared immunological and/or metabolic components.

Dr Egerup added: “Perhaps the same genetic background could predispose to an increased risk for both pregnancy losses and type 2 diabetes. Also, pregnancy loss could initiate an immunological cascade that also could lead to later type 2 diabetes.

“Additionally, it is possible that prediabetic metabolic conditions – present before the diagnosis of diabetes – could influence the association.”

Based on the results, Dr Egerup is urging women who have experienced losing a pregnancy to have their blood sugar levels regularly if they were to fall pregnant again.

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