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Diabetic mums benefit from close monitoring

Continuous monitoring reduces risk of big babies

OnMedica Staff

Friday, 26 September 2008

Continuous glucose monitoring for women with diabetes reduces the risk of macrosomia (excessive birth weight in babies).

This is according to a study published on bmj.com today.

During pregnancy it is important that women with diabetes keep their blood glucose under control. If not, there may be an increase in the amount of glucose reaching the baby, which makes the baby grow faster than normal, and may cause difficulties at birth as well as an increased longer term risk of insulin resistance, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Evidence suggests that measuring glucose more often improves outcomes, but the optimum frequency of blood glucose testing is not known.

Dr Helen Murphy and colleagues at Ipswich Hospital, examined whether continuous glucose monitoring during pregnancy can improve maternal glucose control and reduce birth weight and risk of macrosomia in babies of mothers with diabetes.

They recruited 71 pregnant women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes from antenatal clinics in the UK.

The women were randomly assigned to standard antenatal care (intermittent self monitoring of glucose levels using the finger prick technique) or intermittent monitoring plus continuous glucose monitoring (using glucose values from subcutaneous tissues measured electronically every 10 seconds, giving up to 288 measurements a day).

The researchers found that women in the continuous glucose monitoring group had lower mean levels of HbA1c (a measure of the amount of glucose attached to red blood cells) from 32 to 36 weeks’ gestation, and improved blood glucose control during the third trimester, compared to women receiving standard antenatal care.

Babies of mothers who had continuous monitoring also had lower birth weight and reduced risk of macrosomia.

The authors said the trial provided evidence of the lasting benefits of continuous monitoring for the babies of mothers with diabetes and is a potentially important target for public health strategies that aim to reduce the burden of obesity in childhood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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