Waistline and cholesterol linked to gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes poses significant risk to women and their babies. However, tests for the condition have traditionally been invasive and unreliable. Results from standard tests may not be available until six months into the pregnancy, which may be too late for women to seek adequate treatment.

However, the findings of recent research from the University of Montreal suggest that cholesterol levels and waistline measurements may be a strong indicator of a woman's risk of developing the condition during their pregnancy.

For the study, investigators tracked the medical records of 144 pregnant women throughout their pregnancy. Waistline and triglyceride levels were linked to an increased risk of gestational diabetes.

"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," Diane Brisson, the study's lead author, wrote in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

She added that the findings could improve doctors' abilities to diagnose and treat the problem before it can affect women's pregnancies.