New research demonstrates the importance of treating pregnant women with even the mildest forms of gestational diabetes to reduce healthcare risks for both infants and mothers. The results appear in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Mark Landon, MD, the lead investigator of the multicenter study, and a team of investigators from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducted a clinical trial to determine if a benefit existed to diet intervention and frequent glucose monitoring in the management of mild gestational diabetes.
Women who received treatment in the study were one half as likely to deliver babies with excess body fat and were one half as likely to experience shoulder dystocia at birth. The women with treatment also had fewer cesarean deliveries and less preeclampsia, or hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
The treatment involved a diet plan, together with close monitoring using a portable meter. If a woman in the study received treatment, she performed at least four glucose tests per day, during her fasting and after meals, to be certain that the diet therapy was keeping her blood glucose within the desired target range. Of the women treated, 93% were managed with diet intervention alone, whereas only 7% required insulin injections to control blood sugar.
“The condition of gestational diabetes may affect up to 14% of all U.S. pregnancies,” says Landon. “Recent studies have indicated that the frequency of gestational diabetes is, in fact, increasing in the United States and worldwide. Because of the increasing frequency of gestational diabetes, our study importantly gives hope to affected women that the condition is generally manageable, with dietetic modifications and close monitoring during pregnancy.”Source: Ohio State University Medical Center