Screening for gestational diabetes

A large waistline and high triglyceride levels in pregnant women could be used to screen for gestational diabetes, research suggests.

Researchers from Chicoutimi Hospital in Quebec, Canada, found women with the hypertriglyceridemic-waist phenotype were more likely to develop gestational diabetes in later pregnancy. They suggest the traits could be used in a screening tool to identify women at risk of the condition.

Researchers tracked 144 pregnant women aged under 40, all but one of whom had normal fasting glucose levels in the first trimester. Plasma triglycerides and waist girth were measured at 11-14 weeks. At 24-28 weeks, glycaemia was measured following a 75g oral glucose tolerance test.

Women with a waist larger than 85cm and triglyceride level at least 1.7mmol/L in the first trimester were 6.1 times more likely to show signs of glucose intolerance as denoted by the oral glucose test.

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