Gestational diabetes has been rising alarmingly in West Bengal, says a new study conducted by Diabetes Awareness and You (DAY), an NGO working on the prevention of the disease. Gestational diabetes is a condition that afflicts pregnant women and subsequently the child in the womb.
The study found that 11.69 percent of women in West Bengal suffer from gestational diabetes, which is almost double the number of cases treated.
Experts suspect that rise in gestational diabetes could be one of the major reasons behind the increasing number of diabetes among adolescents in West Bengal.
When the blood sugar count exceeds 120mg per liter, two hours after taking 75 grams of glucose, a woman is taken to be suffering from gestational diabetes.
Debashish Basu, president, DAY, said, "Pregnant women generally have a high sugar count. But when it exceeds 120mg, we term her as a gestational diabetes patient. The fetus, too, runs the risk of contracting the disease. First, gestational diabetes enhances the possibility of congenital deformities. Secondly, it might affect the child at a later stage, which happens often. But it is difficult to trace it back to gestational diabetes since tests to confirm the disease are not mandatorily conducted on pregnant women."
The study conducted on 6,000 women across the state found that even doctors are not aware of the need to check blood sugar levels of pregnant women. Blood sugar tests are rarely conducted before 20 weeks, by the time fetus is affected.
A study on diabetes among school children in Kolkata is being conducted by DAY. West Bengal ranks second among metros in terms of the number of diabetic patients, while Chennai ranks first, Mumbai third and Ahmedabad fourth.