Diabetes link in pregnancy
RESEARCH suggesting women who have gestational diabetes are more likely to birth children prone to diabetes later in life was a groundbreaking discovery according to a Southern Cross University professor.
The link between a mother’s blood sugar levels and the metabolic rate of her children was discovered by Sydney’s Garvan Institute for Medical Research.
Maree Crepinsek, coordinator of the Bachelor of Midwifery at Southern Cross University, believed the findings were the missing piece of the puzzle.
“We’re really excited about this research, it’s quite groundbreaking,” Mrs Crepinsek said.
“Mothers often have a lot of complications with gestational diabetes and we are now putting together the pieces.
“Once upon a time it was a disease of the elderly, now it’s a disease of our children.
“Now we’ve found the link we can start looking at preventative measures.”
Gestational diabetes is linked to the amount of weight a woman gains during pregnancy.
The optimum gain is between four to 12 kilograms but many women put on up to 30kg, affecting the production of insulin – the hormone that processes blood sugar.
This then affects the child’s metabolic rate.
“The link is between the mother’s blood sugar levels and the metabolic rate of the child,” Mrs Crepinsek said.
“We’ve known for a while that lifestyle impacts on the instance of diabetes, but this just has such big implications on our society.”
The research can be found online in the Diabetologia journal.