Shedding Light on Recurrent Miscarriages: Insulin Resistance a Possible Culprit for Some

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By: Jan Chait

Women who have repeated miscarriages are likely to be insulin-resistant, according to researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

While 2 to 4 percent of all reproductive-age couples experience recurrent miscarriages, for the 30 to 40 percent of these couples whose miscarriages are unexplained, the researchers write, “the heartache of losing their hoped-for babies is compounded by not knowing the reason why it happened or what they can do to try to carry the next pregnancy to term.”

To find a reason for unexplained multiple miscarriages, the researchers studied 74 women who had repeatedly miscarried. These women were matched with control subjects, and each group was tested for fasting insulin and glucose levels. Of the 74 women who had repeated miscarriages, 27 percent were insulin-resistant, compared with 9.5 percent of the control subjects.

The researchers suggest that “insulin resistance causes a diabetes-like state in the fetal environment that results in increased first trimester loss.”
-Fertility and Sterility,
September 2002

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