Around 20% of Finnish expectant mothers are developing gestational diabetes, according to a new study.

The condition, that develops during pregnancy, can lead to other health issues such as high blood pressure, hypoglycemia and complications at birth.

In addition, if not controlled, it can lead to type 2 diabetes once the mother has given birth.

Dr Heidi Hakkarainen who is a gynaecologist and obstetrician from Kuopio University said: “Obesity and gestational diabetes go hand in hand. In addition, the increasing average age of women in childbirth can heighten the risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy.”

With more women being diagnosed with the condition, healthcare costs in Finland are on the rise.

Dr Hakkarainen said: “An increasing number of patients diagnosed with the condition require more resources. Of course, the situation is worrying.”

Gestational diabetes can be associated with poor eating habits and lack of activity during pregnancy.

Dr Hakkarainen is particularly concerned about the women who do not follow up on their health and diabetes diagnosis once their baby has been born.

She said: “Remember to check your blood sugar, blood fat values and blood pressure every one to three years based on the results.”

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