OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ — Cardio-metabolic risk
factors such as high blood sugar and insulin, and low high density
lipoprotein cholesterol that are present before pregnancy, predict
whether a woman will develop diabetes during a future pregnancy,
according to a Kaiser Permanente study in the current issue of the
American Journal of Epidemiology.
The study suggests that metabolic screening of all women
before pregnancy, particularly overweight women, could help
identify those more likely to develop gestational diabetes
mellitus, known as GDM, in a subsequent pregnancy and help them
take preventive steps prior to conception.
Women who develop GDM during pregnancy are more likely to
develop Type 2 diabetes after pregnancy, previous research has
shown. GDM is defined as glucose intolerance that typically occurs
during the second or third trimester and causes complications in as
much as 7 percent of pregnancies in the United States. It can lead
to early delivery and Cesarean sections and increases the baby’s
risk of developing diabetes, obesity and metabolic disease later in
The study is among the first to measure cardio-metabolic risk
factors before pregnancy in women 18-30 years of age without
diabetes who later became pregnant and reported whether they had
developed GDM. The research provides evidence to support
pre-conception care for healthy pregnancies as noted in a 2006
report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That
report suggested that risk factors for adverse outcomes among women
and infants can be identified prior to conception and are
characterized by the need to start, and sometimes finish,
interventions before conception occurs.
“Our study suggests that women may benefit from a focus on care
before conception that would encourage screening for metabolic
abnormalities before pregnancy, rather than only during pregnancy.
Because weight loss is not advised, and the medicatio