Pregnant women with diabetes likelier to have defective births, suggests study.
"The study led by Newcastle University and funded by Diabetes UK, for the first time has evidence that quantifies the effect of glucose levels. The blood glucose level around the time of conception is the key factor predicting the risk of congenial anomaly," a statement from Newcastle University that has published the study said.
The study carried out in mainly white women in England suggested that as many as one in 13 deliveries to women with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes involved a major congenital anomaly, also known as a birth defect.
"The researchers have found that during pregnancy, a woman with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes has a risk of a birth defect which is about seven percent, as compared to an average of around two percent in women without diabetes," the study said.
The study involved an investigation of the recorded outcomes of 401,149 pregnancies, including 1,677 pregnancies in women with diabetes, between 1996 and 2008 in the north of England.
"The good news is that, with expert help before and during pregnancy, most women with diabetes will have a healthy baby. The risk of problems can be reduced by taking extra care to have optimum glucose control before becoming pregnant," said Ruth Bell, the study's lead researcher.
Birth defect is a physical anomaly which is recognizable at birth and which is significant enough to be considered a problem.
"Any reduction in high glucose levels is likely to improve the chances of a healthy baby. All young women with diabetes need to know about preparing for pregnancy, and should contact their doctor or diabetes team as soon as possible if they are thinking about pregnancy or become pregnant," Bell added.