News on Wellness

Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy Doubled Between 1996 And 2010

Pregnant Woman

Canadian researchers, writing in the journal Diabetes Care, report the results of a study which found that, rates of both gestational and pre-gestational diabetes among Ontario women doubled between 1996 and 2010.

Using hospital records of over 1.1 million women aged between 15 and 50, the researchers recorded the incidence of gestational diabetes and diabetes-related complication. About 45,000 womens were diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GDM) and 13,000 had diabetes prior to pregnancy.
Pregnant Woman
“By 2010, almost one in every 10 pregnant women over the age of 30 had diabetes in pregnancy,” said lead researcher Dr. Denice Feig, an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital who heads the Toronto hospital’s Diabetes in Pregnancy Program. “That’s enormous. And most of our women are getting pregnant over the age of 30.”
The rate was even higher — 13 per cent — among women over 40.
“I believe the rate of gestational diabetes is rising probably because of the mere reason that the rate of diabetes in the general population is rising,” said Feig.

The researchers found twice increase in risk of giving birth to infants with serious birth defects in women who had the disease before getting pregnant compared to those without the disease.

Most babies born to diabetic moms are large, and that can lead to delivery complications. In most cases, gestational diabetics are diagnosed within the 24th to the 28th week of pregnancy with a glucose test.

Studies have also shown that women with gestational diabetes are at higher risk of subsequently developing Type II diabetes.

Researchers suggests that there is an urgent need for a large randomised controlled trial on screening for gestational diabetes.
“I think it’s a wake-up call to physicians and people who take care of women with diabetes that the rates are getting very high and these women need a lot of support,” Dr. Denice Feig conclude.

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