September 20, 2010
In Pregnancy, A Large Waistline And High Triglycerides: Early Screen For Gestational Diabetes
A large waistline and high triglyceride levels in pregnant women could be an early screening tool for gestational diabetes, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) (pre-embargo link only) http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj100378.pdf.
Gestational diabetes is a significant public health concern, with potential negative effects on women and their babies, yet tests to diagnose are costly, time-consuming and unpleasant for pregnant women. As well, results are not available until relatively late in pregnancy, at about six months. Previous studies have shown that obesity before pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of gestational diabetes. There is a need for early, simple screening tools, especially with the trend of increasing obesity around the world.
"We found that the simultaneous presence of abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridemia in the first trimester is associated with a significantly increased risk of glucose intolerance later in pregnancy," writes Dr. Diane Brisson, Universit© de Montr©al and Chicoutimi Hospital with coauthors.
They note that the sample size was modest and homogenous but suggest further research with larger, more diverse populations.
"Measurement of waist girth in combination with triglyceride concentrations in the first trimester of pregnancy may be useful in the improvement of early screening for gestational diabetes," conclude the authors.
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