Women in the US missing out on gestational diabetes screening

Tue, 21 Dec 2010
Research into nearly a million pregnant women in the US has shown that up to a third are not being screened for gestational diabetes, and could develop diabetes during pregnancy but be unaware that they have the metabolic condition . A lack of diagnosis means that the diabetes is not being treated, which is putting their babies at risk.

According to a study by the American Diabetes Association, and published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, there are around 135,000 cases of gestational diabetes reported each year, a number that could double if there were proper screening in place and full numbers were known.

The study revealed that 19 per cent of women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes had not been screened for diabetes in the six months after giving birth, especially as it is recommended that women receive a follow-up screening between weeks six and 12 postpartum.

Studies have shown that babies are at a greater risk of health problems such as premature birth and birth defects if its mother has diabetes during the prenatal period, and also that she has a higher risk of suffering from pre-eclampsia .

Jon Nakamoto, who wrote the study, commented "There's good recent data showing even a slight inability to control blood sugar during pregnancy has a direct impact on your baby and your health ."
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