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New trend shows rates of diabetes on the rise

New trend shows rates of diabetes on the rise



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Dr. Kim Mulvhill reportingA new study just released today shows an alarming trend. The rate of diabetes in reproductive-age women doubled in the span of just six years.

The rise in obesity plays a huge factor. And since diabetes can cause serious complications in pregnancy, all young women need to be warned.

Grace Montoya is just weeks away from having her second child. She's excited. She's also worried. She says, "I'm diabetic. I wear an insulin pump, and I constantly have to worry about my blood sugar being too high or too low." That's because diabetes increases a pregnant woman's risk for having miscarriages, stillbirths and babies with birth defects.

And now, a new study shows a disturbing trend. Dr. Jean Lawrence, a Kaiser Permanente research scientist, said, "What we found from 1999 to 2005 is the proportion of women giving birth that already had diabetes before they were pregnant doubled."

Lawrence attributes that doubling of diabetes rates primarily to the rise in obesity, especially among minority women. "For Type 2 diabetes, it's commonly been linked to overweight and obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. About half the African-American women and 40 percent of Hispanic women are obese," Lawrence says.

The news is disheartening for Montoya. She had no control over her Type 1 diabetes, but she knows so many women at risk for Type 2 can save themselves a world of future worry, just by exercising and eating right. She says, "You're at risk, so you have to really keep on top of it."

The study examined the records of over 175,000 women who gave birth at Kaiser hospitals over a six-year period. And while the trend is disturbing, it may get worse. Today two-thirds of American adults and 15 million children are overweight or obese.

The good news is that can change.

When it comes to who is at higher risk, the biggest jump came in pregnant teenagers who saw a 500 percent increase in diabetes rates in just six years.

Diabetes can diabetes make it harder to get pregnant. All the more reason to make sure you body is handling sugar appropriately, even when thinking about getting pregnant, the best thing to do is prevent it in the first place.

And if you already have it, get sugars well controlled before even trying to get pregnant.

E-mail: drkim@ksl.com

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