Pregnancy trends in women with diabetes observed in 15-year study

Jack Woodfield
Fri, 12 Jan 2018
Pregnancy trends in women with diabetes observed in 15-year study
Women in Scotland with either type of diabetes are more likely to experience complications associated with pregnancy, research suggests.

Funded by the Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity Research Fund, based at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, the trial focused on nearly 814,000 birth across 15 years.

Women with diabetes were more likely to give birth early at 37 weeks, and 68 per cent of those with type 1 diabetes needed theatre for delivery, followed by 60 per cent of women with type 2. Stillbirths and caesarean section were also more likely among women with diabetes.

Despite the data, it is still possible to increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy through keeping watchful control of blood glucose levels, eating natural foods and reducing your sugar intake. Many packaged foods contain surprisingly high amounts of added sugars.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, said of the findings that more needs to and can be done to lower the rates of complications among pregnant women with diabetes.

Mrs Addington said: "Type 1 diabetes can be tough to live with. Pregnant women living with the condition face particular challenges. Our latest research shows continuous glucose monitors can make a vital positive difference for them and their babies. Today's news reminds us that advances in treatment like continuous glucose monitors must be provided to all those who would benefit through the NHS."

It was already known that both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes can increase the chances of higher birth weight, early delivery and other complications, and the most recent study shows risk rates of problematic pregnancies and issues with babies remain high.

The authors hypothesise that factors which might affect these figures include high obesity numbers and women having babies at a slightly older age.

They added that novel approaches and technologies are needed urgently in a bid to meet the unmet needs of pregnant women who have diabetes.

Lead author Sharon Mackin, from the University of Glasgow, said: "There were marked differences in pregnancy outcomes in women with diabetes compared to non-diabetic women.

"Although diabetes in pregnancy remains relatively uncommon - one in 178 births in our data - the prevalence of both type 1 and particularly type 2 diabetes complicating pregnancy is increasing."

The findings have been published in the journal Diabetologia.
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