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Pregnant women warned of diabetes complications

Author John Thompson
Submitted 31-07-2008

Fathers-to-be may want to warn their pregnant wife about the dangers of developing diabetes while carrying their baby, as a new study has suggested that this greatly increases their chances of developing type 2 diabetes later on.

Researchers at the University of Toronto looked at a sample of 633,449 pregnant women, 3.3 percent of whom were diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a condition that typically develops in the second half of pregnancy and disappears soon after the birth.

They found that only two percent of the women who did not have gestational diabetes went on to develop type 2 diabetes in the nine-year follow-up period, compared to 19 percent of those that did.

Dr Denise Feig, one of the report’s co-authors, suggested that "these women may benefit from both preventative interventions and regular screening".

She also told Reuters that women can take measures to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, such as maintaining a healthy weight and eating nutritious foods.

Gestational diabetes is thought to be caused when various hormones produces during pregnancy block the usual action of insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels.