Newly developed, simple test for gestational diabetes

October 2, 2012, Medical University of Vienna
Newly developed, simple test for gestational diabetes

The increasingly common condition of gestational diabetes can have serious consequences for both the mother and child if left untreated. Prompt diagnosis and therapy can protect against these consequences. A new testing method developed at the MedUni Vienna now makes diagnosis easier and also cheaper.

The new for is based on a mathematical and has been developed by scientists at the University Departments of Gynaecology and Internal Medicine III (Gender Medicine Unit) under the scientific leadership of Alexandra Kautzky-Willer. The new alternative to general screening with a glucose tolerance test is set to significantly reduce the number of tests that women often find quite unpleasant.

In the first stage of the new method, the pregnant woman's fasting is checked to exclude any manifest disease. Known risk factors from the patient's past medical history are also documented and investigated. "This data allows us to calculate the risk of gestational diabetes very accurately," says Kautzky-Willer. Only if the risk is elevated will the patient possibly need a glucose tolerance test.

Improving existing screening practices

Since 2011, the glucose tolerance test has been a mandatory examination in Austrian maternity clinics (as part of the "mother-and-child-pass" examination). Women often find this test somewhat unpleasant, however. General screening is also not possible in all countries. Gestational diabetes is regarded as a growing health problem, since it is now one of the most common conditions that develop during pregnancy. According to current international figures, around 15 to 20 per cent of all expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes.

Untreated, this metabolic condition can lead to increased insulin excretion in the unborn baby, leading to , increased fat accumulation, and a range of birth complications. The risk of both the mother and child developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and vascular problems later in life is also raised. Early diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes can significantly reduce these complications. Mothers and their children can be monitored and supported in an aftercare programme.

A total of five medical centres across Austria took part in the development of the new testing method. The scientific work behind it has just been published in the top international journal Diabetologia. The Austrian Diabetes Society has awarded a project prize to the study and for the development of new testing methods.

Explore further: Women's risk of heart disease after gestational diabetes differs by race

More information: A scoring algorithm including fasting plasma glucose measurement and a risk estimation model is an accurate strategy for detecting GDM. Göbl CS, et al. Diabetologia 2012.

Related Stories

Women's risk of heart disease after gestational diabetes differs by race

June 6, 2011
New research finds that gestational diabetes, or pregnancy-related diabetes, may not raise the risk of heart disease independent of other cardiovascular risk factors except in certain high-risk populations, such as Hispanics. ...

Women are more prone to hypoglycaemia than men

June 27, 2012
Just how important a gender-specific perspective and the personalised treatment of illnesses are between men and women is being demonstrated by two current studies at the MedUni Vienna, which are being led by Alexandra Kautzky-Willer ...

Excess maternal weight before and during pregnancy can result in larger babies

May 22, 2012
Excess weight in pregnant women, both before pregnancy and gained during pregnancy, is the main predictor of whether mothers will have larger than average babies, which can result in increased risk of cesarean section or ...

Recommended for you

Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

January 17, 2018
Six novel chromosomal regions identified by scientists leading a large, prospective study of children at risk for type 1 diabetes will enable the discovery of more genes that cause the disease and more targets for treating ...

Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

January 16, 2018
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to new research led by the ...

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family

January 15, 2018
A study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

Discovery could lead to new therapies for diabetics

January 12, 2018
New research by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., and her team has demonstrated that an enzyme she had previously identified as playing a role in peripheral neuropathy induced by cancer chemotherapy ...

Enzyme shown to regulate inflammation and metabolism in fat tissue

January 11, 2018
The human body has two primary kinds of fat—white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories in order to produce heat and has garnered interest as a potential means ...

Big strides made in diabetes care

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

0 comments

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.