Number of pregnant women with preexisting diabetes increases

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 12, 2008

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The rate of diabetes before pregnancy has more than doubled, but numbers for the gestational form of this disease are stable, according to a paper published online in this month's Diabetes Care.

Researchers analyzed data on 175,249 women ages 13-58 who gave birth at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Southern California from 1999 to 2005. The rate of preexisting diabetes increased from 0.81 per hundred pregnancies in 1999 to 1.82 per hundred in 2005. Increases were noted in all age groups and racial or ethnic categories, but gestational diabetes hovered around 7.5 per hundred.

The authors are concerned about this phenomenon because diabetes increases the risks associated with pregnancy. "More young women are entering their reproductive years with diabetes, in part due to the fact that our society has become more overweight and obese," said Jean M. Lawrence, ScD, MPH, lead author and a research scientist with Kaiser Permanente's Dept. of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif. "While we currently don't know how to prevent type 1 diabetes, the steps to reducing risk of type 2 diabetes must start before childbearing years."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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