Objective: To test the hypothesis that women with insulin-dependent diabetes and chronic or pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorders are at increased risk for developing retinopathic complications during pregnancy.
Study design: One hundred fifty-four women with insulin-dependent diabetes were prospectively followed in an intensive program of diabetes in pregnancy. Ophthalmologic evaluations were obtained through pregnancy and at 6 to 12 weeks post partum, and findings were graded by a standard scale. Association of retinopathic progression with risk factors was tested with chi 2 and multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results: Fifty-one women had progression of retinopathy during pregnancy; postpartum regression was observed in 13 women. Changes in glycemic control early in pregnancy, chronic hypertension, and pregnancy-induced hypertension were significantly associated with progression of retinopathy.
Conclusion: Women with insulin-dependent diabetes who have hypertensive disorders in pregnancy are at increased risk for progression of retinopathy.