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Gestational diabetes cases to jump 30%

Gestational diabetes cases to jump 30%


As hospitals prepare for a surge in gestational diabetes cases under looming changes to diagnostic criteria, doctors in one

NSW region are predicting the incidence will rise by 30%.

The Australian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society has said it is expecting to adopt the new International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) criteria by the end of this year, but there has been uncertainty over its effects on case load.

Some experts have warned the move could increase GDM prevalence by 50%. But now a Wollongong-based study of glucose tolerance tests from 1275 patients has found the incidence would rise from 9.6% to 13%.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor Robert Moses and colleagues from Wollongong Hospital suggested this was likely to be similar to the overall national increase.

Medical Journal of Australia;

2011; 194 (7): 338-340


Aetiology / Risk Factors

Family history of type 2 diabetes: having a first-degree relative with type 2 diabetes leads to lifetime risk of 40%; similarly 25% to 33% of all type 2 diabetics have a family history of the condition.

Age older than 40 years

Excess body fat, particularly truncal obesity with waist circumference >88 cm

Sedentary lifestyle with diet high in fats and calories

Glucose intolerance, dyslipidaemia, hypertension

History of gestational diabetes

History of polycystic ovarian syndrome

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander, Indian or Chinese, African American, Hispanic American, and Native American descent.

Low birth weight and/or malnutrition in pregnancy may cause metabolic abnormalities in a foetus that later lead to diabetes.


Diet and Lifestyle

Goals during pregnancy should be to manage blood sugar levels and prevent excessive weight gain in the mother or baby, whilst still providing a range of essential nutrients.

Diet should be relatively low fat, especially saturated (animal) fats. Essential fatty acids from nuts, seed and fish should be emphasised.

Refined carbohydrates including sugar, sweets, fruit juices, white breads, pasta and potatoes should be avoided. These foods have a high glycaemic index and are damaging in any amount for diabetics.

A diet high in fresh fruit (whole), vegetables (non-starchy), essential fatty acids and lean protein sources provides essential phytonutrients, antioxidants, magnesium and helps to control inflammatory processes in the blood vessels.

Smoking cessation is the highest priority in currently smoking patients.

Regular aerobic exercise (starting slowly and increasing as patient’s fitness improves) has been shown to stimulate non-insulin dependant glucose transport into cells.

Red wine (in strict moderation), dark chocolate and other sources of phytonutrients such as green tea may be useful in moderation to reduce inflammation and plaque formation, and support healthy nitric oxide production.

If you are looking for a food that is protective in all these aspects, see:


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