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Kaiser Permanente Study Finds Diabetes Doubling Before Motherhood
Date:4/27/2008

epartment of Research & Evaluation. "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: healthy eating, active living and maintaining a healthy weight. These habits should begin in childhood and continue through adulthood."

Given that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and nearly 15 million children are overweight or obese, these study findings are especially relevant.

The health risks of having diabetes before becoming pregnant are greater to mother and baby than gestational diabetes, which occurs in 8 percent of pregnancies. Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnancy triggers insulin resistance in the second trimester and raises a woman's blood glucose level and is associated with larger babies, childhood obesity, and increased maternal risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Women with pre-existing diabetes are more likely to have miscarriages, stillbirths, and babies with birth defects because they may have elevated blood sugar during the critical first trimester of pregnancy when the infants' organs are developing.

"My advice to women who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and are thinking about becoming pregnant is: work with your health care professional to get your blood sugar in good control. If you are pre-diabetic or have type 2 diabetes and are overweight, work on reducing your weight by a few pounds before becoming pregnant," Lawrence said. "And women with gestational diabetes should have their blood sugar level tested after they've given birth to make sure it returns to normal."

Limiting obesity is the best way to reduce the rising incidence of type 2 diabetes in young women, says study co-author David Sacks, MD, a Kaiser Permanente perinatologist who specializes in maternal fetal medicine and treats up to 50 diabetic moms-to-be a year. "We've become a more sedentary and obese society so naturally type 2 diabetes has risen to
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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