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Diabetes in pregnancy a risk years later

1 February 2011 No Comment

A TYPE of diabetes that strikes during pregnancy may disappear at birth, but it remains a big red flag for mothers’ future health – one that too many seem to be missing.

Roughly half of women who have had gestational diabetes – the pregnancy kind – go on to develop full-fledged Type 2 diabetes in the months to years after their child’s birth.

Yet new research shows fewer than one in five of those women returns for a crucial diabetes test within six months of delivery.

That is the first of the checkups they are supposed to have every few years to guard against diabetes’ return, but no one knows how many do.

The research, by testing-lab giant Quest Diagnostics, is sobering because if they only knew, many of these new mothers could take steps to reduce their chances of later-in-life diabetes that can bring with it such complications as heart disease and kidney damage.

‘It’s almost as if you got a preview … a window to the future,’ says Dr Ann Albright, a diabetes specialist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ‘This is a population that really should be targeted for intervention.’

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