Diabetes During Pregnancy

Based on an international study led by an Israeli team at the Rabin Medical Center, the World Health Organization, the US National Institute of Health, and others are expected to change their definition of gestational diabetes. It has long been known that the condition-a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy- is harmful to both the mother and the infant, often causing serious complications. The researchers studied 25,000 pregnant women and found that the glucose level presently defined as indicating gestational diabetes has been set too high. The study found a definite connection between blood sugar levels previously considered normal and negative consequences such as overweight babies at birth and various long-term side effects. Although blood sugar levels of under 95 milligrams per deciliter were considered normal, on the basis of this study, the maximum glucose levels should be around 90.

Professor Moshe Hod, head of the maternal and fetal medicine unit at the Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva, said many women suffering from gestational diabetes were not diagnosed because standards around the world were inconsistent and the mechanism for measuring sugar was not accurate. In the future, more women across the world will be diagnosed with a simple blood test. Professor Hod will publish the findings in the near future in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study was carried out at 15 medical centers in 10 countries around the world, including the Rabin Medical Center and Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, over a period of seven years, with $20 million in funding from the US National Institute of Health. It was the largest study ever conducted on this subject.

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