Continuous glucose monitoring in diabetic pregnant women lowers risk of complications

September 26, 2008,

Continuous glucose monitoring as part of antenatal care for women with diabetes improves maternal blood glucose control and lowers birth weight and risk of macrosomia (excessive birth weight in babies), according to a study published on 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 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).

Continuous glucose monitoring was used as a tool to aid patient education and optimise lifestyle and therapeutic management of blood glucose levels.

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.

But because macrosomia rates were still 3.5 times higher in women using continuous glucose monitoring than in the general maternity population it shows that standard interventions including diet and insulin have failed to reduce rates of macrosomia enough, say the authors. This emphasises the need for novel educational and technological interventions especially in women with long duration type 1 diabetes, they add.

This trial provides 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, say the authors.

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Mario Festin says that continuous glucose monitoring increases the consistency and accuracy of glucose measurement which is vital for the nutritional and drug management of diabetes in pregnancy.

Continuous glucose monitoring is relatively cheap compared with a clinic based monitoring system and more widespread use may make it more affordable even in developing countries, he concludes.

Source: British Medical Journal

Explore further: High-energy breakfast promotes weight loss

Related Stories

High-energy breakfast promotes weight loss

March 18, 2018
In patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes, a meal schedule that includes a high-energy breakfast promotes weight loss, improves diabetes and decreases the need for insulin, new research from Israel reports. The study results ...

Blacks have more exposure to air pollutants raising heart disease risk, death

March 15, 2018
Blacks often have higher exposure to air pollution than whites, which may partially explain their higher risk heart disease and death compared to whites, according to new research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular ...

Managing type 2 diabetes in a sitting-centric world

March 6, 2018
Globally, over half a billion people are projected to have type 2 diabetes (T2D) by 2035, around 10% of the population. In Australia alone, around 280 new people are diagnosed with T2D every day – costing the healthcare ...

AI application for treatment of gestational diabetes

March 8, 2018
AI allows individualized predictions for expectant mothers and newborn children. The aim of the individual recommendations is a positive experience for the user combined with activity that is beneficial for the glucose level.

Big strides made in diabetes care

January 5, 2018
(HealthDay)—This past year was a busy, productive one for diabetes research and care.

How doctors are providing smarter care with electronic health records

January 9, 2018
The source of the common hospital-acquired infection known as C. diff can be hard to pin down in a busy, sprawling hospital, where patients might pick up the bug in countless locations.

Recommended for you

Global burden of low back pain—a consequence of negligence and misinformation

March 21, 2018
A series of groundbreaking papers from Australian and international researchers in The Lancet, published today (22/3) warns that low back pain is a major health burden globally - across developed and developing nations - ...

Microscopic 'shuttles' transport enzyme from cells to trigger onset of kidney disease

March 21, 2018
A new study involving the University of Sheffield has identified a key culprit in the onset of kidney disease in a major marker for kidney disease development.

Metabolite therapy proves effective in treating C. difficile in mice

March 20, 2018
A team of UCLA researchers found that a metabolite therapy was effective in mice for treating a serious infection of the colon known as Clostridium difficile infection, or C. difficile.

Study of COPD patients has created a 'looking glass' into genome of pathogen

March 19, 2018
Decades of work on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at the University at Buffalo and the Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System have yielded extraordinary information about the pathogen that does ...

Sick air travelers mostly likely to infect next row: study

March 19, 2018
People who fly on airplanes while contagious can indeed get other people sick, but the risk is mainly to those seated next to them or in the adjacent row, US researchers said Monday.

Newly described human antibody prevents malaria in mice

March 19, 2018
Scientists have discovered a human antibody that protected mice from infection with the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The research findings provide the basis for future testing in humans to determine ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.