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Call to improve gestational diabetes screening

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Calls for an improvement in gestational diabetes screening have been made after research indicated that having a large waistline and high triglyceride levels while pregnant could be a sign of diabetes.

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Research conducted at Chicoutimi Hospital in Quebec, Canada, concluded women with these symptoms are more likely to develop the disease later in their pregnancy.

The study, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, examined 144 women aged under 40 at the hospital.

Dr Diane Brisson, Universite de Montreal and Chicoutimi Hospital said: “We found that the simultaneous presence of abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridemia in the first trimester is associated with a significantly increased risk of glucose intolerance later in pregnancy.”

Previous studies in this area have linked obesity before pregnancy to gestational diabetes and with an increase in the levels of obese women globally, health experts believe a simple test needs to be developed to screen for the condition.

Current tests for gestational diabetes are expensive and results are not usually available until six months into a patient’s pregnancy.

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