Gestational Diabetes Found in 1 in 10 Future Moms

Obesity a major risk factor for condition, experts say.
Obesity a major risk factor for condition, experts say.

As many as one in 10 pregnant women in the United States develop gestational diabetes, a new government study estimates. The report was published in Preventing Chronic Disease.

Carla DeSisto, an epidemiology research fellow at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues used the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System questionnaire as well as state birth certificate records to compare rates of gestational diabetes from 2007 to 2008 with that of 2009 to 2010. They found no significant difference in the prevalence of gestational diabetes during these years.

The data from this study indicate that the prevalence of gestational diabetes is between 4.6 and 9.2 percent of all pregnancies.

The incidence was found to vary by geographical area: Wyoming and Utah had the lowest rates of gestational diabetes, and New York City and Rhode Island had the highest. The authors of the report say most of the state by state difference appears to be related to obesity levels.

"Our results indicate that gestational diabetes prevalence is high in the U.S.," DeSisto told HealthDay. "Other researchers have reported that gestational diabetes has been steadily increasing consistent with the rise of obesity," she added. "Preventing obesity is a key component of well woman care and diabetes prevention. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy weight throughout the reproductive years benefits women and improves the health of any future pregnancies."

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