Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors
Gestational Diabetes occurs in approximately 2% – 5% of pregnancies and typically the condition improves or disappears completely after the child is born. If left untreated, however, Gestational Diabetes can cause severe heath issues to both mother and child. It is important to note that patients who are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes have a 20-50% chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes within 5-10 years of the birth of their child.
Patients who have been previously diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes are at a higher risk of a repeat diagnosis. Insulin resistance typically begins between the 24th and 28th week in the pregnancy, however doctors can perform the Gestational Diabetes test at the 13 week mark if they feel the patient is at risk.
Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors
Women who are obese are at higher risk of developing Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy. Pregnant patients with a body mass index or BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 are at higher risk of gestational diabetes.
A patient with parents or siblings with Diabetes, especially Type II Diabetes, has greater chances of being diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy increase.
A patient in a pre-diabetes state or shows signs of insulin resistance prior to pregnancy has a greater chance of developing Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy. Insulin resistance or elevated blood sugar could easily result into Type II Diabetes, thus it increases risk of Gestational Diabetes.
Pregnancy in Advanced Age:
If a woman becomes pregnant after 35 years of age, chances are that she may develop Gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Giving Birth To Larger Babies: If a patient has delivered a child with a birth weight exceeding 9lbs, they are at a greater risk of developing Gestational Diabetes in subsequent pregnancies.
High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure during pregnancy could also trigger Gestational Diabetes.
Ethnicity: Pregnant patients with Hispanic, African American, Native American, South or East Asian, Asian American, Indigenous Australian or Pacific Island descent are at higher risk of developing Gestational Diabetes. White women of Non-Hispanic origin are at the lowest risk of developing Gestational Diabetes.
Prior Gestational Diabetes:
Pregnant patients who had Gestational diabetes in previous pregnancy are at higher risk of developing Gestational Diabetes during subsequent pregnancies.
Adverse Past Pregnancy:
Rapid weight gain during previous pregnancy, previous stillbirth, complicated previous pregnancy, delivering a child with a birth defect or suffering from too much amniotic fluid surrounding a baby during any previous pregnancy could increase the risk of developing Gestational Diabetes during subsequent pregnancies.
Past Blood Sugar Issues:
Higher sugar levels prior to pregnancy, Glycosuria or previous history of glucose intolerance also increases the risk of developing Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy.
Patients suffering from or having previous history of polycystic ovary disease or previous history of Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes are at higher risk of developing Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy.
If you are currently pregnant, or are thinking about becoming pregnant and if two or more of the above risk factors apply to you, speak to your health care professional about Gestational Diabetes. It’s important for the health of both you and your child that you take any medications, exercise and make diet and lifestyle changes as prescribed.