Study Reveals Possible Connection Between Diabetes, Birth Defects - 8 News NOW

Study Reveals Possible Connection Between Diabetes, Birth Defects

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Pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes are three to four times more likely than non-diabetic women to have a baby with at least one birth defect.

That's according to a new government study which also identifies a wide range of diabetes-related birth defects.

Las Vegas perinatologist, Stephen Wold, says poorly controlled diabetes can have a profound affect on pregnancies. Complications range from heart defects and limb deficiencies, to still birth.

And because organ systems develop early on, damage to the fetus can occur even before a woman finds out she's pregnant.

"So really, the important thing for anyone with diabetes is to get to a physician, whether it's her endocrinologist, her obstetrician, get everybody on board -- to manage her diabetes. To get her in optimal control, even before she gets pregnant. That's really the only way that we can effect or control risk factors in moms," he said.

Dr. Wold says gestational diabetes, which occurs late in pregnancy, does not carry the same high risk of complications as pre-existing type-1 or type-2 diabetes.

For more about the CDC's new study on diabetes and pregnancy, click here.

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