Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes show increased risk of poor outcomes in a study of over 700,000 births.
While other studies have analysed the links between gestational diabetes and adverse outcomes in babies, very large studies that draw on an entire national database, such as that used in this French study, are rare.
The new research published in Diabetologia looked at all 796,346 deliveries taking place after 22 weeks in France in 2012.
The diabetic status of mothers was determined by the use of diabetes drugs or insulin to lower blood sugar, and by hospital diagnosis.
The cohort of deliveries contained 7.24% mothers with gestational diabetes. Data linking the mother to the child were available for 88% of the total.
The increased risk of various complications for mothers with gestational diabetes versus mothers without it were: preterm birth 30%; CS 40%; pre-eclampsia/eclampsia 70%; babies born significantly larger than average size 80%; respiratory distress 10%; birth trauma 30%; and cardiac malformations 30%.
The authors said that most of the risks were higher in women with insulin-treated gestational diabetes.
Dr Emily Burns, research communications manager at Diabetes UK, said that this type of research could help find potential ways to overcome the risks that women with gestational diabetes face.
‘The overall risk of complications during pregnancy for these women is relatively low, but we need to eliminate it completely,’ she said.
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