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Women with diabetes (type 1 and 2, and gestational) at the time of pregnancy have a 2-5 fold increased risk of having a baby with defects due to the impact of high blood glucose levels on lowering the provision of oxygen to the fetus in the early stages of development. A study on the effect of high blood glucose readings that used mice as a model, found that there was less oxygen made available to their embryos resulting in a high percentage of birth defects. The organs mainly affected are the heart and spine, including the spinal cord, as these are among the first tissues to be produced in pregnancies. Therefore rigorous control of blood glucose must be attained and maintained before a woman becomes pregnant to avoid birth defects, and women, particularly overweight and obese women, need to be screened for this metabolic disease as a component of a pre-pregnancy planning program. Research into this field is continuing.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by News wise
About: Pregnant diabetics at higher risk for birth defects
Date: 4 October 2005
Source: News wise
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