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Diabetes risk to healthy pregnancy investigated

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A research programme aimed at reducing the risk of birth defects developing in babies born to women with diabetes will be carried out by scientists at Newcastle University.

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The research, funded by charity Diabetes UK, will collect data from unique registers of pregnancies in diabetic women in the hope of identifying which factors can increase the risk of birth defects. This information will then be used to advise and support women with diabetes both before and during pregnancy.

Women with diabetes are five times more likely to have a stillborn baby compared to other pregnant women. Although it is commonly known that good blood glucose control before and throughout pregnancy can cut this risk, there has been a lack of research to identify what other preventative measures women can take.

The director of research at Diabetes UK, Dr Iain Frame, said, “In a very short time frame, the information gained from this study has the potential to improve the advice and support given to women with diabetes who are planning a pregnancy, as well as those who are already pregnant.”

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