Gestational diabetes - the epidemic posing an
immediate threat to thousands of pregnancies, and a future threat
to the health of mothers, babies and families.
Health experts today warned of the alarming
increase in gestational diabetes which in the past 12 months has
affected 38,000 Australian women during pregnancy.
"In the last ten years, more than 200,000 women
have developed gestational diabetes. Latest projections show that
over the next decade more than 500,000 women could develop
gestational diabetes during pregnancy," said Professor Greg
Johnson, CEO of Diabetes Australia.
Today (14 November) is World Diabetes Day and
Diabetes Australia has warned that gestational diabetes is now the
fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia.
"Importantly, gestational diabetes poses a dual
threat - firstly without appropriate management and care, it can be
a serious risk to mother and baby during the pregnancy, and
secondly it poses a serious future risk for both mother and baby
developing type 2 diabetes and other health issues," he said.
"After gestational diabetes, women are at high
risk of developing type 2 diabetes and children born to mothers who
have gestational diabetes are also at an increased risk of being
overweight or obese, or developing type 2 diabetes later in
"The alarming increase in number of women
developing gestational diabetes presents an intergenerational
diabetes issue and threatens to make the type 2 diabetes epidemic
even bigger in future."
"Our latest projections suggest that gestational
diabetes could trigger over 250,000 women to develop type 2
diabetes or prediabetes in the coming decade."
"Developing gestational diabetes is one of the
biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes and we need to ensure
Australian mums and families get the support they need after
gestational diabetes to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. We
need to break this intergenerational cycle of diabetes."
A/Professor Alison Nankervis, an Endocrinologist
at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Women's Hospital said the short
term complications for mother and baby can be serious, but the risk
of complications can be reduced with good treatment and care.
"Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that
occurs during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is
born. The abnormal blood glucose levels can affect both the mother
and baby," A/Professor Nankervis said.
"The condition makes pregnancy higher risk for both. Babies born
to mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to be born
prematurely or via C-section, be larger babies, have shoulder
dystocia and a range of other complications."