Research by scientists in the United States has offered new evidence concerning the increased risk from having type 2 diabetes and obesity in pregnancy, at a time when both are dramatically increasing for women of a childbearing age.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, revealed that diabetes and obesity in pregnancy independently contribute to an increased risk, and can lead to a range of complications in pregnancy and birth. The study focused on identifying if obesity alone can account for the increased risks in people who have both conditions, or if diabetes is also responsible.
It used clinical records and a birth certificate database to assess data on pairs of women who delivered babies between 2000 and 2008, with each pair being either diabetic and non-diabetic with around the same pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). Most women in the study were overweight, obese or morbidly obese.
Loralei Thornburg, senior author on the study, commented “We’ve never seen the degree of obesity and type 2 diabetes in women that we are seeing right now, because for a very long time diabetes was a disease of an older population, so we rarely dealt with it in prenatal care.”
She added “We hope this new knowledge will help physicians better understand and care for this rapidly expanding group of high-risk women.”

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