Gestational diabetes rates rising

More than 250,000 women who gave birth in 2008 had gestational diabetes, according to a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The figures are much higher than where experts normally put the number of women with gestational diabetes. The American Diabetes Association usually estimates that up to 4 percent of total deliveries are made by women with gestational diabetes. However, the numbers indicate that it is closer to 6 percent.

Gestational diabetes can cause a number of negative consequences. It can lead to premature birth and newborns frequently experience hypoglycemia, jaundice and overly large body size, which can complicate the birth.

Additionally, the report indicates that the costs associated with a gestational diabetes birth are 18 percent higher on average than births involving healthy mothers.

While gestational diabetes usually goes away after the mother has given birth, some of the consequences for their children can last much longer. Women who are at risk for the condition should talk to their doctor about ways they can minimize the impact of gestational diabetes on their offspring.
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