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RCOG statement on new research looking at incidence of type 2 diabetes amongst women with previous gestational diabetes and stillbirth

News 18 September 2014

Research presented today at the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Vienna looks at type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events in women with previous gestational diabetes and in those with normal glucose tolerance in pregnancy and the role of stillbirth.

The Italian researchers found that women with gestational diabetes complicated by stillbirth increased their risk of type 2 diabetes by 46.9 times as compared with women with a normal pregnancy.

The research looked at 3851 women with gestational diabetes and 11553 women without gestational diabetes.

During a median follow-up of 5.4 years, the incidence rate of type 2 diabetes was 2.1 per 1000 women per year in women without gestational diabetes; 54.0 per 1000 women per year among women with gestational diabetes and pregnancy at term; and 115.0 per 1000 women per year among women with both gestational diabetes and a pregnancy ended in stillbirth.

Dr Daghni Rajasingam, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said:

“This is an interesting study looking at women with gestational diabetes and stillbirth and possible links to type 2 diabetes.

“We know that gestational diabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and one of the risk factors is having a BMI of over 30. Gestational diabetes and a higher BMI are also both risk factors for stillbirth.

“Gestational diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise. However, some women with gestational diabetes will need medication to control blood glucose levels.

“Immediate changes to lifestyle can help including taking moderate exercise. Women should also be offered individualised dietary advice and receive tailored antenatal care for their needs.”

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For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk