Diet and exercise have long been linked to type 2 diabetes. As America's waistbands expand, so do the type 2 diabetes diagnoses.
A study released by Kaiser Permanente examined 175,249 women who gave birth between 1999 and 2005. While the percentage of those who developed gestational diabetes remained the same, those who were diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes pre–pregnancy doubled.
To see what one doctor has to say on the findings,
Jean M. Lawrence of Kaiser Permanente's Department of Research cautions diabetic women to get preconception care so they can plan on strategies for a healthy successful pregnancy.
If monitored in advance, women can make a world of difference by getting their blood sugar levels down, especially during the first trimester. High blood sugar levels can often cause miscarriage, stillborns or birth defects.
According to the findings:
This study found significant jumps in pre-pregnancy diabetes in every age, racial and ethnic group:
- Diabetes increased fivefold among 13- to 19-year-olds giving birth
- Diabetes doubled among women 20- and 39-year-olds giving birth
- Diabetes increased by 40 percent among women 40 and older giving birth
- African-American, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women were more likely to have diabetes before pregnancy than White women
Dr. Lawrence summed up her beliefs:
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.