Stillbirth risk if pregnancy diabetes undetected

Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy, but are not diagnosed, are much more likely to experience a stillbirth, a new study has found.

However, those who are properly screened, diagnosed and treated for the condition have no increased risk, according to the findings.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy - most often in the second or third trimester. It results in a woman's blood sugar levels becoming too high. It usually disappears after the baby is born.

It is already known to lead to a number of complications, such as increased birth weight and premature labour.

This UK study compared the symptoms and care of almost 300 women who had experienced a stillbirth, with more than 700 women who had not, in 41 maternity units throughout England.

The researchers found that the risk of stillbirth was more than four times higher in women who had developed signs of gestational diabetes, but had not been diagnosed.

However, they emphasised that women with gestational diabetes have no increased risk of experiencing a stillbirth if the condition is diagnosed and managed.

"Gestational diabetes can cause serious complications in pregnancy. It's important that we detect every woman with symptoms so she can receive the appropriate care and support," commented the study's co-author, Prof Alexander Heazell, of the University of Manchester.

Details of these findings are published in the journal, BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.


[Posted: Fri 29/03/2019]

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